End of an era as Ferdinand Piëch finally cut ties with VW Group

Ferdinand Piech, chairman and CEO of Volkswagen Group, at 2000 Paris Motor Show

Ferdinand Piech, chairman and CEO of Volkswagen Group, at 2000 Paris Motor Show

Two years ago, Ferdinand Piëch, then chairman of the Volkswagen Group, resigned from his post following a public spat with Martin Wintekorn, who was the automaker’s CEO at the time.

The 80-year-old has now cut all ties with the VW Group by offloading his sizable stake in Porsche Automobil Holding (Porsche SE), the holding company founded in 1931 by Ferdinand Porsche and which controls the VW Group via its ownership of 52 percent of the automaker’s voting shares.

Porsche SE is 100 percent owned by Ferdinand Porsche’s descendants. Piëch, a grandson of the founder, owned a 14.7 percent stake of Porsche SE, valued at approximately $1.16 billion.

That stake as of November 8 has been transferred to other members of the Porsche and Piëch clan, Porsche SE confirmed in a statement.

Porsche SE also confirmed that Piëch has resigned from the holding company’s board of directors, effective December 8, 2017.

It’s certainly an end of an era. For Piëch, the VW Group, along with family and money, was most important thing in life, he is famous for saying. He’s pushed the company to most of its successes of the past two decades, though he managed to escape the fallout of the diesel scandal by his perfectly timed retirement as chairman in 2015 just months before the scandal broke.

An engineer, Piëch started his career at Porsche where in the years to come he would mastermind the 917 project of the 1970s. He then went on to conceive such projects as the original Audi Quattro, the takeover of Lamborghini, and the Bugatti Veyron. It wasn’t all successes, though. Piëch also has some famous flops to his name. The list includes the Audi A2, the Volkswagen XL1, and arguably his biggest blunder, the Volkswagen Phaeton.

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