68-year-old Winterkorn joined the Volkswagen Group back in 1993 after a decade and a half at Bosch. He was named head of Audi in 2002, and chairman of the Board of Management (effectively the chief executive officer) of the entire Volkswagen Group in 2007. Just a few months ago he faced off against Ferdinand Piëch – chairman of the company's supervisory board and grandson of Ferdinand Porsche – that resulted in Winterkorn's victory and Piëch's resignation. The executive committee's endorsement, then, is effectively a vote of confidence in Winterkorn's leadership.
It still leaves unresolved the question of who will ultimately take over as chairman to succeed Piëch. Winterkorn was touted for a potential promotion, but if the supervisory board renews his contract – currently set to expire next year – he'll be staying right where he is and a new chairman will need to be found. The chair is currently filled on an interim basis by Berthold Huber, former head of the union that was instrumental in Piëch's ousting.
Resolution of the Executive Committee of the Volkswagen AG Supervisory Board
The Executive Committee of the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen AG unanimously agreed a resolution for submission to the Supervisory Board at its meeting on September 25, 2015 under which a new contract as Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG for a term until December 31, 2018 should be concluded with Professor Dr. Martin Winterkorn.
"Together with Professor Martin Winterkorn at the helm we will continue on our successful path of recent years and systematically implement the goals of Strategy 2018", Berthold Huber, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen AG, said.