Sunday, April 26, 2015

Piëch resignation: Volkswagen needs to regroup – THE WORLD

On day one after the spectacular finish of the VW patriarch Ferdinand Piëch of triumph or even openly shown joy in the VW Group nothing to feel. “We need to stop thinking in terms friend or foe and winner-loser. This culture of mistrust has to go,” says one.

The Extraordinary successes of Ferdinand Piëch are undisputed. But in recent years – a time in which, for example, China has been more important than business in Germany – the Group had outgrown a leadership style Piëch, the company sometimes contributed as a family

“The Supervisory Board has changed. The Piëch has probably misjudged,” says an insider. And another says: “The finish matches Piëch Easy to retire would never have gone.”.

However, there are at the end of this power struggle, the had unleashed Piëch weeks ago about two by saying he was “at a distance” to Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn, one winner: the VW Group. Could after the rings not only come to rest, but now there is finally a chance that this global company gets the leadership structures that a globally operating company needs: instead of a small circle of top people that control everything, a transparent top. This is long overdue.

Two weeks campaigns

After days, partly hidden struggle for the future of VW boss Martin Winterkorn was on Saturday met the six-member Executive Committee again. As a result of a court in Braunschweig departure of Ferdinand Piëch and his wife Ursula from the Supervisory Board was completely surprising announced. “You would not and could not go to the next board meeting and the general meeting so”, according to company sources.

Photo from 1975. Ferdinand Piëch has always been a techie. The mechanical engineer born in Vienna in 1937 began his career at Porsche, before moving in 1972 to Audi.

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Photo: AP

At Audi, Piëch increases gradually on. In 1982, he is Chief Technology Officer of the Volkswagen subsidiary.

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Photo: AP

In 1988 accepts he the top job at Audi. The photo shows him a year of taking office with the former Volkswagen boss Carl Horst Hahn (r.)

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Photo: AP

At the end Piëch is isolated within the Group. The powerful Volkswagen deny him during the attack on CEO Martin Winterkorn allegiance. Piëch resigns from the Supervisory Board.

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Photo: AP

Two weeks had been fought doggedly to the top particulars in the group – only went it retrospectively

Piëch appears around the head of Martin Winterkorn, last by the Ferdinand Piëch. And the fight was evidently not as hopeless as it. had at least members of his family line on his side. Which had also been critical of Winterkorn. In addition, the Porsches led apparently with Piëch on Wednesday confidential discussions on the future of winter grain. Ferdinand Piëch had immediately denied -. And that’s what should have been his crucial error

When was leaked, there were secret talks between the Piëch and Porsche to Winterkorn , Ferdinand Piëch last Thursday tried to limit the damage and had “Bild” newspaper report about the he “pursuing not the replacement of winter grain. We have spoken last week and agreed to collaborate on.”

” No one more employable “

” This statement has Piëch tasted the last support. Now the families had no confidence in him, “says . an insider

The most important of Personnel should be clarified quickly: the new man or the new woman at the helm of the Supervisory Board. “The goal is to present to the Annual General Meeting a new chairman,” it says in the environment of Volkswagen. They fear that the anger of investors discharges violently about the conditions at the shareholder meeting Volkswagen on 5 May. With a new strong man could take her top.

And a man will it be occupying the space of Ferdinand Piëch. The capital on the Supervisory Board has the right to nominate for the post. Dominant employer in the camp of the supervisory body are still the Piëch and Porsche families. “It is highly likely that a member of the Supervisory Board and the two strong owner families be succeeded,” said a person familiar with the operations person.

Thus were Hans Michel Piëch, a brother Ferdinand Piëch, or Ferdinand Oliver Porsche’s hottest contender for the Supervisory Board chair. But in recent days was the case Piëch Winterkorn pretty much any forecast was wrong.

Winterkorn “new grip”

Insiders believe that it is questionable whether the successor Piëch Supervisory Board as chefs had to officiate a full five-year period. This question how the search for the right person will be to devote the next few days, they say.

The goal is at the meeting of the Monitoring Board on May 4 to determine a new chairman of the board, but it could certainly take longer.

Winterkorn was in any event be strengthened and come even after his time as CEO for the questioned tip of the Supervisory Board, according to the Bureau circles. Piëch wanted to prevent just that. But it will of Winterkorn expects that he will now rethink his leadership. Piëch the other board members had kept his patriarchal it alone.

His protégé Winterkorn but have expected a change, he had matured in the past two weeks human again and got a new grip. “For Winterkorn this is a chance, now even Volkswagen modernize” it says in circles of the Supervisory Board.

The cousin does not want

As for the post of Supervisory bosses, so Piëch’s cousin Wolfgang Porsche reportedly has no ambitions to the top job. “If there were those who would have been able to present him as early as Saturday as the successor,” says an insider. Wolfgang Porsche has also been chairman of the board of Porsche Holding SE, the society in which the two families have their say and about 50.7 percent of Volkswagen AG.

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The question now is whether Piëch quiet now holds or continues to try his influence to make. His influence in the Group and in particular for the two families should still be large, it is the largest single shareholder of Porsche SE with its majority stake in VW.

What the IG Metal and now Acting VW supervisory board Berthold Huber said after the crisis meeting on Saturday, led to the conclusion that you can not trust the peace after Piëch finish. “We believe that Mr. Piëch will not harm Volkswagen with its investments, that’s his life’s work.” In the sentence swinging a significant portion of mistrust with.

“A new power balance needs to be found,” says Stefan Bratzel, director of the Center of Automotive Management in Bergisch Gladbach. “The Group is required in the medium term up structurally novel and organizations decentralized.” The key question with which managers Volkswagen wanted to go in the next, strategically pioneering years, should be further clarified.

Are reforms ever wanted?

But as the demonstrative joint appearance by Huber and Prime Minister of Lower Stephan Weil (SPD) shows, country and employee representatives have joined together to form a solid block. And against it is hard to get.

Some have ten of the 21 votes in the Supervisory Board, the country itself has a blocking minority and can block all unwanted decisions , Pull both side in the same direction, the leadership structures could be reformed at Volkswagen. The only question is: Would the country and the works council ever

For years, Germany’s largest industrial group is tailored to two men on Ferdinand Piëch, 78, and Martin Winterkorn, 67. Well if only because they are for so long and the fathers of so many successes because they have shaped Volkswagen, they have difficulties with a change at the top.

And when the two key men in addition also still at war, any change was impossible. Volkswagen threatened by losing time in its realignment – time that has not, the automotive group. Cover the huge profits of the subsidiaries Porsche and Audi as well as the fat years for VW in China that there are huge construction sites at Volkswagen.

centralism paralyzes the Giant Group

Always called again the weak business in the US, the yield weakness of the main brand Volkswagen and the poorly happy marriage of the daughters truck MAN and Scania. The real flaw is that the problems could be solved only all of a tiny circle of managers to Winterkorn – so the VW world provides. Right down to the smallest detail.

And because that might overpower the strongest Manager crucial unsolved cases remain lying. At any rate, probably also thinks VW patriarch Piëch. And he is not alone.

Bernd Osterloh, the influential council boss had last spoken decisive for winter grain and thus against Piëch. But he had also sharply criticized the Volkswagen structure. “Some believe here that all the entire group, fully able to control from Wolfsburg. But the question has to be, how much centralism at Volkswagen is needed and if you could not give more responsibility to the regions.”

Indeed, it has already worked in Wolfsburg new leadership models. For the meanwhile grown to nine members RI Board is like a bottleneck, must bring their decisions difficulty through the twelve brands.

conversion was sluggish

why the Board should be streamlined to focus on key issues such as finance and human resources. Among the brands were settled, bundled into groups controlled by the CEOs of the house brand VW (Herbert Diess), the premium subsidiary Audi (Rupert Stadler) and the luxury brand Porsche (Matthias Müller) and Andreas Renschler as a truck Board.

That would curtail the power of the chief executive officers, which of course does not usually cause joy when incumbent Winterkorn. According slow progress was the conversion. Finally, the topic group restructuring was apparently quite off the table.

where rival Toyota has gone exactly this way, has launched a comprehensive decentralization and, since the turbulent years after 2009 once again number one in the industry.

  Employees: Mark C. Schneider (BALANCE)


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