Volkswagen’s board of directors has decided to part ways with their controversial Board Chairman, Ferdinand Piech. Recently, Piech has commented that the CEO Martin Winterkorn no longer had his confidence, however the remainder of the VW board retained their confidence in Winterkorn. In the end, something had to give and it turned out to be Piech.
Ferdinand Piech is the son of Ferdinand Porsche’s daughter, and is part of the Porsche family – who still control about 50% of VW stock. Piech was previously the CEO of VW, and it was Piech that was the impetus for the VW Phaeton, a study in luxury that carried the wrong badge on its nose. But Piech also saw the emergence of VW as a legitimate contender for top auto producer in the world (in a constant battle with General Motors and Toyota).
The hard driving and mercurial Piech is no stranger to controversy – ask any long time Rolls-Royce manager how good they felt when Piech discovered VW did not have the rights to make and market Rolls-Royce cars.
While this marks the current end of Piech’s involvement with the VW group, given the Porsche family ownership it would not be hard to think that this isn’t the end, but merely another inning in the grand game coming to a close.