Volkswagen’s board backs extension of chief exec Martin Winterkorn’s contract

Suzie Neuwirth
The executive committee unanimously voted in favour of extending Winterkorn’s contract (Source: Getty)
Volkswagen yesterday proposed the extension of chief executive Martin Winterkorn’s contract until the end of 2018, proving that he has the company’s backing following a high-profile power struggle with former chairman Ferdinand Piech, who was ousted earlier this year.

The executive committee of the supervisory board of the German car manufacturing giant unanimously voted in favour of extending Winterkorn’s contract, which was previously set to expire at the end of next year.

“Together with Professor Martin Winterkorn at the helm, we will continue on our successful path of recent years and systematically implement the goals of Strategy 2018,” said interim chair Berthold Huber.

Piech clashed with Winterkorn over the strategy of the company, but was forced to resign when labour leaders and shareholders backed the latter.

The announcement makes it unlikely that Winterkorn will become chairman, increasing the chances of an external candidate. He is restructuring the firm and cutting costs in a bid to grow profits in the face of weaker demand in emerging markets.

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