Despite his denials, the German group will face a problem of succession to ensure after Piech. But the almighty boss of VW Group operates remain until 2017.
Who to lead Volkswagen in the years to come? The German giant with twelve brands, which currently exists on a tandem unchallenged power, cut short the question raised by the press, referring sine die the appointment of a dolphin.
It is an article of Handelsblatt , published a few days before the opening of the IAA Frankfurt Motor Show, which set fire to the powder. According to the newspaper, the chairman of the supervisory board, Ferdinand Piech, is preparing to retire at 76 years for health reasons. The boss of the group, Martin Winterkorn, and would replace it himself deputized temporarily by the CFO Hans Dieter Potsch.
The information likely to affect the course of action was immediately denied, threat of legal action in support. Mr. Piech is “in excellent health,” assured Volkswagen. In the aftermath, the great master of the German car, which holds the rest of the Piech and Porsche families family a majority stake in the group, appeared at the event organized by Volkswagen at the IAA, the air relative like the arm of his fourth wife.
“I’m fine”, there has he said, assuring want to stay in office at least until the end of his term, or 2017.
Mr. Winterkorn has assured him that he would remain at the helm until at least 2016, expiration of his contract. “The issue of succession does not arise in us,” he said in a newspaper, adding that the supervisory board would deal with the search for candidates “in due time”. As for the author of the “rumor” Mr. Piech proclaimed actively seek. “I do guillotinerai once I am sure that it is,” said he promised in the Spiegel magazine. The success of a tandem
A Welded Duo
The violence of this reaction shows how the duo-Piech Winterkorn is of fundamental importance for Volkswagen, which aims to rise from third to first in the world in the sector by 2018. With 550,000 employees, 100 plants worldwide and 193 billion euros of turnover in 2012, the group Wolfsburg (north) has become a juggernaut that “is not easy to navigate,” notes Stefan Bratzel, Director Center for Automotive Research CAM.
“The success of Volkswagen at present owes much to this tandem”, which ensures stability, says automotive expert. “The two men are very familiar feel for many years and have the same views on many things.”
Mr. Piech, engineer admired for making Audi a goose that lays golden eggs and brother standing over the rival Porsche, plays a key role. If the Austrian grand-son of the creator of VW, no longer holds the reins of the executive since 2001, it remains “the strong man, who is always consulted on major policy issues,” says Bratzel . As Martin Winterkorn, it enjoys the full support of trade unions and staff representatives. And if the duo were to break, the group could suffer as no successor in sight, Judge analyst.
Mr. Piech “has not sufficiently taken into account in recent years the issue of succession” to the head of the group, Judge Christina Bannier, professor at the University of Mainz (West) specializing in corporate governance. With Mr. Winterkorn, they “embody the group and can not realize that there can be life after VW to them,” she adds.
According to Spiegel, no decision on a successor will be taken within two years. Several personalities were in the running: the development leaders Audi, Bentley, Seat, Scania and Volkswagen or Porsche boss. But authoritarianism attributed to MM. Piech and Winterkorn has in the past caused casualties among potential dolphins, like Karl-Thomas Neumann, now boss of Opel.