Thursday, April 23, 2015

Power struggle: Martin Winterkorn vs. Ferdinand Piëch: The next round is … – tagesspiegel

05:53 clock Alfons Frese and Henrik Mortsiefer

Germany’s largest car company never rests: reportedly VW Godfather Ferdinand Piëch has not given up his plan to push CEO Martin Winterkorn from office. It’s about the successor to the Supervisory tip.

In the struggle for leadership of the Volkswagen Group, the opponents bring their troops into position. First made on Thursday the message stir, chairman Ferdinand Piëch wanted VW CEO Martin Winterkorn still disempower prematurely – and already in the next board meeting on 4 May.

On May 5, stands in Hanover at this year’s Annual General Meeting, with Winterkorn and Piëch as main characters. After Piëch had whispered two weeks ago, “I am to distance Winterkorn,” the six-member steering committee of the Supervisory Board was reported to have 5 a week ago 1 votes Winterkorn expressed confidence

Piëch was alone.. Even more surprising was on Thursday then spread from the NDR and the Deutsche Presse Agentur message Piëch try again to get rid of winter grain. A denial of Piëch and explanations of Lower Saxony and the works were quick

Piëch. We have spoken out

Piëch told the “Bild” newspaper: “We have last week pronounced. And we agreed to cooperate. Do not operate the replacement of Martin Winterkorn. “Previously, the message was spread on Wednesday the Piëch and Porsche families had met in Stuttgart at the insistence of Piëch.

There Piëch allegedly courted support for his plan, Porsche CEO Matthias Mueller or Skoda CEO Winfried Vahland as the successor of winter grain enforce. The Piëch and Porsche families hold a majority stake in VW. Another major shareholder is also sits on the Board and advocates, as well as VW works council leader and board member Bernd Osterloh for winter grain Lower Saxony, whose Prime Minister Stephen Weil (SPD).

The Bureau of the supervisory body including Weil and Osterloh had Winterkorn last week clearly expressed confidence in Salzburg. Wolfgang Porsche agreed it against his cousin Ferdinand. The Piëch and Porsche’s control 50.73 percent of the voting VW shares. Piëch’s attack on Winterkorn seemed backwards loszugehen, his position was weakened, and from the Supervisory circles scattered, Piëch should now be in turn overthrown.

Maybe plays revenge a role

But it seems on the committee to have no serious interest. The Lower Saxony state government said on Thursday succinctly: “The Bureau’s decision last Thursday has been taken after thorough discussion. He remains the basis for the actions of Prime Minister Stephen Weil. “Lower Saxony holds a blocking minority of 20 percent of VW shares.

Also, boss of Osterloh sent word” for us is the decision made last week. ” Also, was the presentation of the Wolfsburg Volkswagen headquarters: “The Executive Committee has issued a statement on Friday, which is nothing to add.” Behind the slugfest is the question of who in the future, the most powerful man in the group – and that’s Ferdinand Piëch – as to replace chairman. So far, Winterkorn was the favorite.

The 67-year-old, whose contract expires the end of 2016, should then change to the Supervisory Board. After Piëch’s verbal attack is no longer probable. About Piëch’s motive is speculated for weeks.

An attempt to explain aimed toward jealousy: Winterkorn is too confident in the eyes of Piëch and perhaps become successful. And he has positioned itself as his natural successor. “Piëch was outraged that Winterkorn had virtually appointed himself,” says a familiar with the circumstances in Wolfsburg observer of the recent skirmish

Other voices suggest an act of revenge Piëch. That was from the environment Winterkorn two years ago was launched, the “Old” is no longer in good health. At the VW-top scenarios were then been played, who occupied what post, if Piëch should suddenly fail. Winterkorn would then become Chairman and CFO Hans Dieter Pötsch transitional successor winter grain on the Board tip.

The majority of the Supervisory Board for Winterkorn

This past weekend it was again in a newspaper report, according to the recent meeting of the presidential must be “questioned the capacity of the Chair” are provided. Also the renewed attack against Winterkorn would have fit into the image of not more fully sane Supervisory chefs, obviously, so here and listen to there, and be available to the influence of his much younger wife, Ursula, he several years ago in the VW Supervisory had brought. Piëch, however, has clearly ruled out that he has his wife as a successor for the Chairmanship in mind.

In the current debate, in any event, the Supervisory Board the theme for Piëch, and not a premature termination of winter grain as CEO. “It’s about the successor to the Supervisory top,” said one of the procedures confidant of the Tagesspiegel. The capital side stand it closed behind the VW patriarch who wants a technician at the top of the control panel. Piëch is reportedly the solutions at Bertelsmann and Springer exemplary, where sit with Liz Mohn and Friede Springer, the widow of the founder on the boards, but not at the top.

Legal Restrictions

Piëch’s alleged maneuvers against Winterkorn tight limits under the securities laws. The supervisory board of a listed company may have a CEO only settle when “good cause” exists – a gross breach of duty, the “inability of proper management” or “no confidence by the Annual General Meeting”.

But above all Piëch missing the majority of the Supervisory Board, which is half occupied by the employees. And the stand of winter grain side. Since the Niedersachse Because for Winterkorn, there is no majority for Piëch. Nevertheless, the old man has set the rumor mill again under steam: “If he nachlegt, then he has a trail that leads to the goal,” says a Piëch- connoisseur. The goal could have a name: Matthias Müller, CEO of Porsche and technicians could be chairman of VW.


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