Ferdinand Piëch was the last major economy captain of the old school. But the industry-Patriarch of dying: they no longer fit into the age of globalization. Nevertheless, Wolfsburg must continue to expect Piëch.
Some celebrities are unthinkable without epithet , “Altkanzler” carbon, for example. Or Elvis “the King” Presley. Ferdinand Piëch was the VW “Patriarch”.
With his resignation from all offices at Volkswagen ended the weekend an era: The era of the powerful corporate executives and corporate savior whose radiant management services given to them over the years an almost limitless authority. The out of a could void destroy with lonely decisions and succinctly top managers in the same way einstampften all lines of business or reinvented and brought seasoned fathers with the naked silence sweat.
The founder of the Düsseldorf steel group Schmolz + Bickenbach was, for example, as a: How naturally settled Michael Storm build a cable car to the hunting area at company expense. Or Air-Berlin-founder Joachim Hunold, who first created from nothing the first serious rival Lufthansa and then in a frenzy buying up as many airlines that Air Berlin nearly choked. Or the Cologne banker Oppenheim family that developed with a 200-year success story to the first address of the rich, to more partners for infidelity allegations came to court and the proud Money house had to be sold off to the German bank.
What this manager-type with Piëch links: Its extraordinary power is mutated for granted. The decisions of the Economic patriarchs are in the course of their careers increasingly lonely and increasingly accompanied by those dangerous impatience, confuses criticism with treason – and reacts accordingly draconian
At the same time, the economic Patriarchate advantages. The Patriarch can also be patron who flouts the same spirit of self-glory out on the austerity dictates of his advisers. Piëch’s lavish bonuses, for example, were legendary. A patriarch can also choose faster because it does not take much voting. Otherwise, the takeover battle between Porsche and VW six years ago might have been different. And the patriarch can implement visions that no one else believes: As Piëch late 80s decided that the then insignificant brand Audi will ascend into the premium segment, laughed the competition in Stuttgart and Munich yet. Ten years later, Mercedes and BMW passed the laugh.
But the time of the Patriarchs is over. Today, appreciation and respect are considered professional standard of personnel management. Condescending gestures towards employees are a major management errors. Ever hierarchies have become less important that employees are supposed to work independently as possible. The commanding boss is out, asked the promotional Coach
This cultural change has much to do with globalization. In everyday dealings with foreign nations authoritarian behavior is a competitive disadvantage. In addition, the German company has accustomed a fundamental skepticism towards authority. The cumbersome word “social partnership” that exists in no other language, the aim of modern management culture in Germany is well off.
Perhaps this is the underlying reason why the Storms that Hunolds and Oppenheim have almost nothing to say today in their own companies. Why the new CEO Heinrich Hiesinger had to throw out the entire Executive Board of ThyssenKrupp before he could break the long tradition of the cartels, cowardice and men’s societies, in which the group was almost failed. And why VW patriarch Ferdinand Piëch in 2006 could still chasing his CEO Bernd Pischetsrieder with a public subordinate clause from office, his successor Martin Winterkorn in 2015 but no longer. Ten years ago, his interview set would be “I am to distance Winterkorn” for these yet been fatal. Now, in 2015, the sender needs two weeks later even take his hat.
The era of the Patriarchs is over. But does that also the era Piëch finished? Still owned by the grandson of the founder of the company Porsche SE, in the Porsche and Piëch families have bundled their shares, an estimated five billion-euro package of shares of the Volkswagen group. It is still Piëch one who headed the group from 1993 to 2002 and then was head of VW controller until last weekend. And no one should forget that Piëch has led the group at least once out of the crisis. The once sleepy bureaucracy with its headquarters in Wolfsburg was the most valuable company under German Piëch. Volkswagen today feeds about 600,000 people and is the second largest mass producer in the world. This brilliant piece of economic history is especially the life work of Ferdinand Piëch.
Therefore, now all speculations about the alleged end of the power struggle in Wolfsburg premature. Piëch has a life long always a move thought further than his opponents. And he also has offices without enough clout to drive Winterkorn in the parade. As long as he does not sell his shares, Piëch will remain unpredictable eminence of Wolfsburg. And if he sells it, it is not better: Then the founding families threatened with the loss of the majority. And then who at Volkswagen’s boss, is completely open