VW chairman and patriarch of the Porsche family, Ferdinand Piëch has announced his resignation following the steering committee's decision to back current CEO Martin Winterkorn over him.
Earlier this month Piëch, 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.
A big step for the company, the VW steering committee chose to back Martin Winterkorn as the “best possible CEO for Volkswagen” over Piëch’s move to have him replaced. The reason cited was Piëch’s dwindling confidence in the VW CEO because of low profit margins and failure to make relevant models for the US market along with diminishing profits from the region.
Ferdinand Piëch was expected to stay on till the expiry of his tenure in 2017. In an official statement released by the company, the members said, “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. Against this background, Professor Doctor Ferdinand K. Piëch resigned from his office as chairman as well as all his supervisory board mandates within the Volkswagen group with immediate effect."
Piëch’s decision was backed by his wife, Ursula who resigned from her post in the supervisory board.
In lieu of the vacancy, deputy chairman Berthold Huber will assume temporary leadership of the board until a new chairman has been elected.