By on July 23, 2009

The Porsche board kept busy all night. Porsche dismissed CEO Wendelin Wiedeking and CFO Holger Härter with immediate effect, Reuters reports. They were kicked out, wearing parachutes worth €50 million ($71million) for Wiedeking and €12.5 million ($18 million) for Härter. That was way below the sums discussed previously.

The unanimous decision is seen as a signal that the Piech and Porsche clans are ready to merge with Volkswagen, with financial backing from the Sheik of Qatar. As reported prevously, Wiedeking will be replaced by Michael Macht.

“With Wiedeking gone, it appears as certain that Volkswagen will take over Porsche step-by-step and will integrate Porsche as 10th brand into the VW portfolio,” Automobilwoche [sub] says. The derivative-dealing duo had racked-up debt of over €10b for Porsche. Today, the supervisory board of Volkswagen meets in Stuttgart. Details of the deal are expected after the meeting. The power over combined Volkswagen/Porsche will be with Ferdinand Piech and his protege Martin Winterkorn.

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18 Comments on “Porsche Fires Wiedeking and Härter, Merger with VW Near...”


  • avatar
    niky

    How the mighty have fallen… these past two years for Porsche have played off like an American primetime drama… probably worth a TV movie, at least.

  • avatar
    PeteMoran

    @ BS

    Should we fear the future for Porsche products at all?

    Can’t see why …. unless of course the manufacturing profit turns out to be a fiction as was the financial engineering.

  • avatar
    Stingray

    I’ll miss this soup opera.

  • avatar
    TomH

    I wonder if this means Piech is going to swap his Phaeton for a Panamerica?

  • avatar
    rochskier

    My interest in cars is going to be seriously dampened if VW, Toyota, and Ford are the top 3 automakers when we get to the other side of this mess.

  • avatar
    Morea

    I would guess that this makes it highly unlikely the Porsche will compete at the highest levels of sports car racing anytime soon since the Audi R15 is already there. Perhaps VW will let Porsche compete directly with Audi on the track but looking at the Fiat/Ferrari/Maserati/Alfa example I would think not. The lack of Porsche at the top is a real loss for the motorsports world.

  • avatar
    tauronmaikar

    Then it appears BMW is the only major automaker in the world left with actual control over its products. You know, to avoid the engineering process being run over by a bunch of schmucks with MBAs.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    Then it appears BMW is the only major automaker in the world left with actual control over its products.

    Oh, yes, because greenlighting the X1, X3, X5, X6, X7, PAS, 1-Series sedan and 2003 7-Series is surely the hallmark of an engineer’s restraint and understanding of the market.

    For another example of engineering run amok, see Honda.

    Please. Engineers screw up, too, just in different, more exciting, more expensive ways. The problem is that, unlike accountancy (but like medicine), engineering as a profession has an awesome tendency toward of professional arrogance and overvalued self-opinion.

    Back when I used to sysadmin, managing engineering departments was by far the worst because, unlike just about everyone else, they had a tendency to think that they knew better and act on it.

  • avatar
    Lumbergh21

    Back when I used to sysadmin, managing engineering departments was by far the worst because, unlike just about everyone else, they had a tendency to think that they knew better and act on it.

    Versus accountants and MBAs who KNOW that they are right. Yes, engineers make mistakes, but lets not demonize them as a group.

    Only $71M. Gee how will he ever get by on that paltry sum. Do you have any idea what a G4 costs to own!?

  • avatar
    tauronmaikar

    I don’t know what an X7 is but I can tell you that the “greenlighting” of those models wasn’t done by engineers.

  • avatar
    ihatetrees

    psarhjinian :
    Oh, yes, because greenlighting the X1, X3, X5, X6, X7, PAS, 1-Series sedan and 2003 7-Series is surely the hallmark of an engineer’s restraint…

    And WTF explains BMW’s near religious devotion to run-flats? A friend buying a certified 330 went back & forth with the dealer three+ times over performance tires. You’d think he was trying to add a vinyl roof.

  • avatar
    7

    @ tauronmaikar

    The X7 was supposed to be BMW’s answer to the GL and looked like a X5 on steroids. It seems it has now been “redlighted”

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    “You know, to avoid the engineering process being run over by a bunch of schmucks with MBAs.”

    Tauronmaicar, not to worry. I believe Bertel mentioned Ferdinand Piech’s engineering background and his antipathy toward MBA’s. I suspect that if there’s anybody with an MBA at VW, he/she/it kept quiet about it to get hired.

  • avatar
    autothority

    Wiedeking was the best automotive CEO. His attention to detail and laser sharp marketing focus resulted in the best product lineup in recent automotive history. I work with automotive OEMs and haven’t seen anyone else being able to do this.

    His mistake regarding the VW takeover was that he relied too heavily on his financial wizards and didn’t put more emphasis on scenario planning in case the economy or their business would turn sour. This is usually something every OEM does, but it seems that he was too confident that nothing can stop Porsche. I am dissappointed by the lack of support by the Porsche family.

    The automotive world lost one of the last great accomplishers and I am concerned that Porsche products will loose appeal mid to long term under the new regime.

  • avatar
    rochskier

    @ Lorenzo:

    I believe Bertel mentioned Ferdinand Piech’s engineering background and his antipathy toward MBA’s.

    The above may be true, but at present I don’t think there is a great, affordable driver’s car in the VW lineup. The R32 is too soft and too pricey.

  • avatar
    AnalogKid

    So this means that a very, very good manager is now available. I wonder if there are any car companies out there that can use someone like that…

  • avatar
    agenthex

    Back when I used to sysadmin, managing engineering departments was by far the worst because, unlike just about everyone else, they had a tendency to think that they knew better and act on it.

    That’s because most eng depts tend to desire less restrictive IT policies. More trouble for the IT admin is probably not a priority.

    Wiedeking was the best automotive CEO. His attention to detail and laser sharp marketing focus resulted in the best product lineup in recent automotive history.

    Well, he’s successfully turned a car company into a name brand label. Haute couture prices for their SUV without much extra work on top of VW’s generic label one.

  • avatar
    stuki

    “So this means that a very, very good manager is now available. I wonder if there are any car companies out there that can use someone like that…”

    I’m starting to wonder if there will be any car companies out there able to hire anyone at all in not too long. And the only ones left will likely chalk it up to their “superior” in house management.

    If Wiedeking will work for highly speculative stock, Tesla does look like company that could use someone whose “attention to detail and laser sharp marketing focus resulted in the best product lineup in recent automotive history.”

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