Volkswagen’s supervisory board has been meeting to discuss the fact that Porsche is now the largest shareholder with 18.5% of the company. At issue is the fact that the chairman of the supervisory board, Ferdinand Piech, is also on the board of Porsche and his family controls the sports-car maker.
Board member Christian Wulff explained: “We need a board of directors that represents the interests of the Volkswagen group not the interests of Porsche. There could be situations where the interests of VW and Porsche don’t coincide. So, we must make sure we avoid conflicts of interest. That’s the dominant issue in our discussions.
Wulff, who spoke before the meeting, dismissed the idea that Piech might be voted out of office. He is not under any threat as employee representatives, who hold half the seats on VW’s supervisory board, have said they are backing him. Piech is the grandson of Ferdinand Porsche, who designed the original Volkswagen Beetle.
Porsche said it has taken the stake to protect Europe’s biggest carmaker from takeover, and there is a report that it may buy another 3.4% of VW’s shares. Board member Christian Wulff says there are “great opportunities” from Porsche’s involvement in the form of more cooperation and by bringing that company’s excellent corporate culture to Volkswagen.