For the past 15 years Ferdinand Piech has been the guiding force behind Volkswagen, first as CEO and Chairman, and since his mandatory retirement in 2002, as Chairman of the Supervisory Board. Before that he headed Audi and helped to cultivate the four-ringed brand's engineering reputation. However, the Piech era may be drawing to a close as the Porsche takeover of VW looks set to break out into intra-family warfare. While Porsche is public company, much of the voting control is held by members of the Porsche and Piech families, the children and grandchildren of founder Ferry Porsche. While little has been said publicly about what is going on in the boardroom at Porsche and the companies reasons for taking control of VW, Piech has been in the peculiar position, being on both sides of the takeover battle. Earlier this year there were reports that Piech was trying to oust Porsche CEO Wendelin Wiedeking in order to maintain control of VW. It now appears that Piech's own family may have had enough of his control, and cousin Wolfgang Porsche is reportedly preparing to push him out. Piech apparently stayed away from a board meeting on Friday to avoid voting with or against his family on the issue of Porsche cooperating with Audi. The family is apparently incensed at Piech's behavior and want him dismissed.

[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd]