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