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Official: Michael Macht to replace Wendelin Wiedeking as Porsche CEO

 
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Wiedeking leaves the company with a €50 million ($71 million) golden handshake, but half of this will reportedly go to charity

Wiedeking leaves the company with a €50 million ($71 million) golden handshake, but half of this will reportedly go to charity

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On the tail of a failed attempt to takeover Volkswagen and the ensuing embroilment of the ruling Porsche and Piech families, Porsche has confirmed that current CEO Wendelin Wiedeking will be replaced by the company's former production chief, Michael Macht.

Other changes include the departure of finance chief Holger Haerter, as well as the appointment of Thomas Edig, Porsche’s current human resources chief, as Macht’s deputy, according to Automotive News.

Wiedeking has accepted compensation of €50 million ($71 million), the company said in a statement, while Haerter will receive €12.5 million. Such a severance/retirement package for Wiedeking is entirely fitting with his compensation during his tenure as CEO of Porsche. He was criticized and forced to defend his high salary - the highest in the automotive industry- several times. The most recent reports pegged his yearly salary at about $89 million in 2007.

It wasn't all failure and misery at Porsche under Wiedeking's tenure, despite the rocky past several months. In fact, under Wiedeking's leadership, Porsche's pre-tax profits rose about €4 billion to €5.9 billion in 2008, and were set to climb even further until the weakened economy hamstrung his plans to takeover VW. As Wiedeking leaves, Porsche’s board has approved the sale of stake in the company to the Gulf state of Qatar and to boost its finances with a capital hike of at least €5 billion.

Wiedeking's successor, Macht, 48, joined Porsche in 1990 and is regarded as a close ally of Wiedeking. Both executives worked closely together in the 1990s to boost Porsche's manufacturing efficiency.

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Comments (6)
  1. This is comical, Wiedeking thought he was going to be the mouse that roared, but now he's the canary eaten by the cat.
     
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  2. Not sure you fully understand the situation.

    Except for the change in the world economy in late 2008, Porsche's takeover of VW would have most likely been successful.

    The only unknown was what Piech's response would have been.

    Wiedeking, of course, could not have foreseen the change in the world situation better than anyone else.
     
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  3. CEOs are rightly judged by actual performance, not what could have been or should have been. Thats like a baseball coach saying we would have won if only we made 2 more runs like we were supposed to.

    A CEOs job by definition is to sort of live in the future, especially since their vision and strategy take many years to unfold. For such an ambitious plan of taking over VW, he should have sensed the economic down turn. It was definitely brewing for a while before last fall.

    Ford's CEO Mulally sensed it and mortgaged everything while he still could. Its something he couldn't have done today and Ford is in a great position today because of it.

    Wiedeking took a bet and lost simple as that. Lost big BTW. He's no different than all of the speculators that caused the housing crisis. Taking on more debt than you can afford because the next deal is gonna pay it back and then some.
     
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  4. This was a gamble that Wiedeking should never have taken. There was absolutly not good reason why Porsche should try to swallow up a company 20 times larger and with which it already enjoyed very close ties.

    His own hubris did him in. Worse still, it has almost done in one of the most respected and admired car companies in the world. I thank the gods that it's VW taking over Porsche and not some repeat of the 1980s take over of Lamborghini by a clueless company like Chrysler.

    I trust Ferdinand Piech and the VW board will put things right away and let Porsche continue to do what they do best: build some of the world's best automobiles.
     
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  5. Good riddance
     
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  6. Now that the story's turned upside down, maybe Volkswagen could diversify the boring line-up of look-alike cars in the Porsche garage...

    ... bring back the 914, 924/944 Carrera GT, 928.
     
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