Chair’s wife poised to join Volkswagen supervisory board

City A.M. Reporter
URSULA Piech, the wife of Volkswagen chairman Ferdinand Piech, is poised to join the carmaker’s supervisory board at its annual meeting next month.

A company spokeswoman confirmed yesterday that Ursula Piech would be a candidate for the board of Europe’s biggest carmaker, replacing TUI chief executive Michael Frenzel.

Ferdinand Piech, who will turn 75 two days before the 19 April shareholder meeting, is up for re-election.

Ursula Piech is around two decades younger.

Piech, the grandson of Porsche founder and original VW Beetle designer Ferdinand Porsche, is a canny strategist, empire builder and the undisputed leader of Volkswagen.

In 2010 he placed his VW inheritance in two foundations over which he has full say as long as he lives, Focus magazine reported at the time.

Ursula Piech would then take them over on two conditions: that the couple had stayed together and that she did not remarry after Piech’s death, the magazine said.

It remains unclear who will run VW after Piech leaves the stage, but Germany has a rich tradition of widows taking up the reins of powerful companies built up by their spouses.

Friede Springer has the say at publisher Axel Springer, while Liz Mohn runs the show at media group Bertelsmann.