Piëch, born in 1937, has recently shifted his holdings into two Austrian foundations; Ferdinand Karl Alpha and Ferdinand Karl Beta. The reason behind this move is to protect the company in the event of his death. That's to say, if he dies his family can't start selling off shares like platinum hot cakes. His wife Ursula Piëch will assume control of the foundations upon his passing.
As stipulated in his will, the assets can be sold only when the managing board, the advisory board of the trust and at least nine of Piëch's 12 children all provide a "yes" vote. As you would expect, some members of the family are a little miffed. Also, under the stipulations presented in the will, Mrs. Piëch is not allowed re-marry or divorce Ferdinand after he passes on. If she does go out and find a new hubby, she gives up control of the foundations.
[Source: FOCUS via The Truth About Cars | Image: Nigel Treblin/AFP/Getty]