Towering force in rise of the VW Group is forced to stand down
Jim Holder
25 April 2015

VW Group Chairman Ferdinand Piech has resigned.

The announcement comes after Piech, 78, lost the backing of Volkswagen's steering committee after a battle with Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn.

"The members of the steering committee came to a consensus that, in the light of the past weeks, the mutual trust necessary for successful cooperation was no longer there," the six-member steering committee said in a statement.

"Against this background, Professor Doctor Ferdinand K. Piech resigned from his office as chairman as well as all his supervisory board mandates within the Volkswagen group with immediate effect."

Earlier this month Piech - who along with the Porsche family controls 51% of the VW Group, the second largest car maker in the world - was quoted as saying he had "distanced" himself from CEO Winterkorn, bringing into public a row over the levels of profits within the VW Group and its failure to make inroads in to the American market.

Deputy Chairman Berthold Huber will assume interim leadership of the board until the election of a new chairman, Volkswagen said in a statement. Piech's wife, Ursula, has also resigned from the supervisory board.

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Comments
13

25 April 2015
I have not got a lot on at the moment, so give me a call VW.

25 April 2015
It's Blondi I feel sorry for. And Goebbels' kids. But the pernicious rise of Golfism had to be quelled. Europe can rise again from the rubble of Herr Piech's Reich.

25 April 2015
I had not realised that he was 78 years old, surely he should have retired 13 years ago at 65, or do VW not have a set retirement age for their workers ? Maybe the retirement age limit is waived for senior people only as Herr Winterkorn is also over 65.

I read in the Telegrap that he had finally been pushed out because he had continued to coerce his fellow directors to remove Herr Winterkorn after the board had agreed to keep him on. Seems his management style needed sorting; I should think they are all relieved to see the back of him.


Enjoying a Fabia VRs - affordable performance

26 April 2015
What a tragic way to end such a phenomenal career. Mr Piech had a hand in some truly remarkable cars and was responsible for the renaissance of Audi and the growth of VW to its current state. Whatever you think of its current range he was not only a gifted engineer but also a shrewd businessman. If only BL/Rover had such a person in the past, our car industry might belong to the UK...

26 April 2015
I think Mr Piech has played a crucial role in VW Group's rise and rise. It is easy to criticise conservatism but his contribution to the group's meteoric rise can not be overlooked.

26 April 2015
might also usher in better customer care. Excessive oil use in vw/audi engines being one area ?

26 April 2015
VAG are in serious trouble it seems. Power struggles and splitting of alliances on the BoD, falling profits, being kicked out of Russia and China - two crucial growth markets. All is not rush under the wafer thin veneer of Winterkorn's heal ding of the reigns. the writing was on the wall when Porsche became the ruling brand.

TBC

26 April 2015
One wonders, if in a few years time, we will look back and see that this was one of those 'the past meets the future' moments that happen occasionally...

26 April 2015
If only Bernie had resigned at age 78...

26 April 2015
When Mercedes were busy cheapening their cars in the 90s, Piech took the opposite route to move VW upmarket - great design, beautifully put together (I'm talking about the Mk4 Golf & its contemporaneous Audis)
And then the Skoda brand has been revitalized with unexpected success. Seat is also looking up. There are now various reliability issues and I don't know what Winterkorn's business plans are.

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