Ferdinand Piech, Chairman of the Volkswagen Supervisory Board and for decades the most powerful man in the company, has resigned. This news comes just days after a public fallout between him and Volkswagen’s current CEO, Martin Winterkorn.
Volkswagen, on the verge of being the world’s largest automaker was put in a state of turbulence when Piech stated to Der Spiegel magazine that he had “distanced himself from Winterkorn.” This type of maneuver had previously led to the demise of two Volkswagen CEOs but this time, it seems, the move has backfired on Piech himself. After this statement though, the company’s board in an uncharacteristic move favoured Winterkorn by saying that he was “the best possible chairman of the board of management for Volkswagen.” The board thus, made it known that it preferred Winterkorn over the ageing 77-year old, whose diktat it had followed for years. It is noteworthy here that Volkswagen’s Board also consists of members from the Porsche family, who also turned their back on the family patriarch.
Berthold Huber, Deputy Chairman of Volkswagen’s Supervisory Board will assume Chairmanship on a temporary basis until a replacement is found. Martin Winterkorn is essentially now the most powerful man at the German juggernaut. Piech still is one of the largest shareholders of the company.