By on September 5, 2015


Reports out of Germany indicate that ousted chairman and current majority owner of Volkswagen’s parent group, Ferdinand Piech, may have tampered with the board nomination to replace him.

Piech may have prevented current VW CEO Martin Winterkorn from becoming chairman after the two’s public feud ultimately resulted with Piech’s abrupt resignation in April, Reuters reported.

If true, the backroom dealings would indicate that while Piech may not be overseeing VW anymore, he still wields significant influence on its operations and leadership.

Last week, Volkswagen announced that Winterkorn would continue on as CEO until 2018, which effectively ended his bid to become chairman. Two days later, VW’s board announced it would nominate its chief financial officer Hans Dieter Poetsch as its next chairman in November.

According to Reuters — which cites German magazine Spiegel and newspaper FAS — Poetsch was Piech’s choice after hearing the board would nominate Winterkorn for the top spot.

Piech is the 78-year-old grandson of Ferdinand Porsche.

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8 Comments on “Report: Piech Basically Still Running Volkswagen Anyway...”

  • avatar

    What?!?!?! Ousted chairman and CURRENT MAJORITY OWNER of Volkswagen still has influence over his company?????? Shocking…

    • 0 avatar

      Well, he wasn’t exactly “ousted”, he resigned after the board refused to back him, but he’s still a member of the board and largest stockholder. It appears he can still get/do what he wants behind the scenes through proxies.

      He would have gotten one more term as chairman, but eventually would be seen as too old to actively run the company as chairman. From his family connection, stock ownership, and position on the board, he can now keep his fingers in the pie as long as he wants without having to show up for a day job.

      • 0 avatar

        He isn’t a member of the board at VW AG anymore though. He and his wife both resigned their spots on the board.

        He is still on the board of Porsche SE, the holding company that controls the majority of VW AG shares.

  • avatar

    Gee, what a surprise…
    This probably means that VW will not do sweeping changes and the fact that they are number one volume manufacturer now reinforces their mentality that what they do is OK. Watch out – the new Phaeton is coming.
    And the bloggers will keep on commenting why VW is not bringing new models. Not going to happen – at least not in North America.
    Good riddance. Germans don’t know how (nor want?) to make relatively long lasting / cheap cars. Heck – not even the expensive ones last much.

    • 0 avatar

      VW has a slew of new products coming out in the US starting next year: 2 and 3 row versions of the Tiguan,the 3 row midsize CUV, a new Jetta, a new Passat, and perhaps a subcompact SUV to compete with cars like the Encore/Trax and HR-V. Plus the 2017 Golf Sportwagen Alltrack to give the Outback a run for its money.

      They should gain some decent marketshare with actual CUV/SUV options that are competitive. The question will be if they can improve the delay on NA products in the future though.

    • 0 avatar

      The Phaeton has been ‘delayed’.

      I wonder if ‘canned’ would’ve been a more accurate choice of words.

      • 0 avatar

        The Chinese Domestic Market A8/Mulsanne was delayed when the bottom fell out of their market?

        Tell me more…

        (I expect that the new Phaeton will eventually come out anyways, but the 2nd gen of the platform only exists because of the Asian market.)

    • 0 avatar

      Ferdinand Piech was the only one to state that VW still doesn’t have a handle on the American market. The rest of VW management was in denial. They really don’t understand Americans don’t “do” maintenance, and expect a car to run for extended periods with only oil/filter changes.

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