• Jul 23, 2009
It was really just 35 words that announced the ends of two careers at Porsche: "In the last weeks Wiedeking and Härter have come to the conclusion, that the further strategic development of Porsche SE and Porsche AG is better off, if they are not on board as acting persons." And so, effective immediately, they aren't. The man who would be was king, Wendelin Wiedeking, and his majordomo CFO Holge Härter, have retired from Porsche with immediate effect.

The move was said to clear the way for Porsche to merge with VW and provide some relief for Porsche's balance sheet. After the same meeting that decided Wiedeking's fate, Porsche announced that it planned to increase its capital by €5 billion (about $7.1B U.S.). That's a big chunk of change, but it's only about a third of the company's debt load, and officials didn't say whether that figure would come from banks, Qatar, or some other investor. Wiedeking's position will be filled for now by supervisory board member and former head of production Michael Macht.

For severance, Wiedeking will get half of the package recently mentioned, a still-healthy sum of €50M ($71M U.S.). He has already pledged half of that money to a charity that will assist in job creation in Germany. Härter will receive €12.5M ($17.8M). Wiedeking, of course, hasn't said anything about where he might go from here, but at only 56 and with his story, we have a feeling we'll see him in the saddle again before long.

[Source: The New York Times]


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  • 16 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      I was wondering why this was taking so long to post. Possibly one of the bigger executive fails in the auto industry for sure (his recent play to gobble vw).
      • 5 Years Ago
      So now it's time to bring back the 914!!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I have to admit that I haven't followed that whole thing too closely (and I'm not a business major...) but I find it hard to believe that this guy who is supposedly a genius at what he does and essentially saved Porsche and brought them back to the top suddenly just snapped, got hit by megalomania overnight and decided to buy VW. Isn't it more likely that he was forced to try the spectacular takeover, that this was his last chance, a desperate attempt to stop VW and the Piech family from trying to gain control of Porsche once and for all? Anybody have any insight on this?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Good riddance.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @EJ25RUN

        But Porsche is also in the crapper because of what he tried to do, and recently he has been trying everything in his power to stop the only move that makes sense for them right now... so I'm glad to see him go.
        • 5 Years Ago
        what are you kidding? Porsche is a great brand because of what he did.

        He saved Porsche from dying. In fact, Car magazine voted him the #1 reason Porsche is as great of a company as it is today.
        • 5 Years Ago
        For now I plan to shpend more time viz zee family and eventually shteer zem into financial ruin as vell. Auf Wiedersehen.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "@EJ25RUN, we've discussed this many times, just because he helped porsche through a smaller crisis, doesn't make this massive crisis he created any less his fault."

        Indeed. That would be like lauding Daimler for saving Chrysler from their looming warranty crisis, and ignoring the fact that they then went on to destroy Chrysler almost entirely.
      • 5 Years Ago

      FILM @ 11: New Beetle dives under semi on freeway, comes out in front as a Panamera.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I wan't to see a film made about the whole Porsche / VW battle. The secret plotting. The stock building, The traders getting stung, The big talk. The debt. The Arab connection. The VW counter punch. The famliy fights. The affairs (that must be going on) It would be a box office hit worldwide.
      • 5 Years Ago
      just look at the other faces in that picture. They're so sad to see him leave.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I love Porsche as a brand and his stay there has made it a better company.
      • 5 Years Ago
      i have the feeling that this move is better for Porsche anyway. they can focus now on what they do best, making terrific sports cars (without having too much pressure.)
        • 5 Years Ago
        You make a really good point.

        Porsche has obviously been trying to diversify for years, as 'sports-car only' manufacturers are usually the hardest hit during a recession. That's what's with the Cayenne and Panamera.

        So clearly they saw the bubble bursting and wanted an emergency plan. They probably felt they had no choice but to try to buy into a more diverse company (VW) so they could have some market stability.

        In the end, this worked out pretty well. Now Porsche doesn't need to turn into Mercedes and build lots of wagons to survive... they can stick to sports cars and let Audi worry about such things.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Great news, i hope they are taking Panamera with them.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Well thank goodness! Did Wiedeking not engineer the VW takeover? Granted, VW hasn't made a lot of great moves lately, but Audi and some of the other brands they manage seem to be going over nicely (Seat, Bugatti, Bently, Skoda). Too bad they're not here. Still, I don't like the thought of Porsche being in VW's hands either. It would have been so much better if they would have left things alone. Somehow I sense that this isn't over yet.
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