The most obvious connection is Julia Kuhn-Piëch, a real-estate professional who has sat on the board of VW's Man truck subsidiary since last year. Kuhn-Piëch, 34, is the daughter of Ferdinand's younger brother Hans-Michel Piëch (and by extension, niece of the ousted chairman). The other seat is being filled by Dr. Louise Kiesling, 57, a designer and daughter of Ferdinand's late older sister Louise Daxer-Piëch.
Keeping track of the lineage of the Porsche-Piëch clan can be confusing, particularly with so many Ferdinands and Louises, but it breaks down essentially as follows: All are descended from Ferdinand Porsche, founder of the eponymous automaker and credited as the designer of the original Volkswagen Beetle. Porsche had a son and a daughter, the latter being Louise Porsche, who married Anton Piëch and had four children: Ernst, Louise (mother of incoming board member Louise Kiesling), Ferdinand (the ousted chairman) and Hans Michel, father of the other incoming board member Julia Kuhn-Piëch and a board member of both the Volkswagen Group and Porsche SE as well.
The Piëch and Porsche families control Porsche SE, which holds 50.7 percent of shares in the Volkswagen Group, which in turn owns Porsche the automaker. With all that in mind, appointing other members of the Piëch-Porsche clan to the board follows logically enough - particularly since other members of the family helped oust Ferdinand from the chairmanship in the first place.
The nominations, incidentally, also help VW increase its proportion of female board members. The two incoming Piëchs will join Annika Falkengren of Swedish bank SEB and Babette Fröhlich of the same IG Metall union as the board's interim chairman Berthold Huber.
Dr. Louise Kiesling and Ms. Julia Kuhn-Piëch appointed new members of the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen AG
Upon application by the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG, Dr. Louise Kiesling and Ms. Julia Kuhn-Piëch were today appointed members of the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen AG by Braunschweig Local Court with immediate effect. The appointments were made pursuant to Section 104 of the Aktiengesetz (German Stock Corporation Act) and were occasioned by the recent resignations of Prof. Ferdinand K. Piëch and Ms. Ursula Piëch from their mandates as Supervisory Board members.
Dr. Louise Kiesling, PhD (RCA), (57) studied fashion design (University of Applied Arts, Vienna) and vehicle design (Royal College of Art, London) and worked as a designer in Germany, Austria and the UK. She is a partner and managing director of several business enterprises including Textilmanufaktur Backhausen GmbH (Hoheneich, Austria).
Julia Kuhn-Piëch (34) completed a law degree in Vienna and then went on to study real estate and facility management at Vienna University of Technology. She works as an independent real estate professional and has been a member of the Supervisory Board of MAN Truck & Bus AG since 2014.