Porsche's chief executive officer Wendelin Wiedeking has stepped down from his role, paving the way for a merger between Porsche and Volkswagen.
Wiedeking, 56, and Porsche's chief financial officer Holger Haerter will leave with immediate effect, Porsche said in a statement.
Wiedeking, who has worked at Porsche for 16 years, is viewed by many as the man who led the company into its disasterous attempts to buy VW.
Borrowing heavily to accumulate VW shares, Porsche fell into a reported 10 billion Euros (£8 billion)of debt and was brought to the brink of financial ruin by the repayments.
Wiedeking is reported to be taking a severance package worth around £80 million to leave. While at the company his salary was based on 0.9 per cent of Porsche's pre-tax profit, meaning he earned around £65 million last year.
Wiedeking is credited with taking Porsche from being almost bankrupt when he took over as CEO in 1993 and transforming it into the car maker with the highest profit margins in the world.
Wiedeking’s departure was announced after a meeting of Porsche’s supervisory board.
Volkswagen’s own supervisory board is scheduled to meet at noon today and it's expected to confirm that it will take control of Porsche.