In an all night meeting of the board of director Porsche has fired longtime CEO Wendelin Wiedeking and named Michael Macht, the man behind the Panamera and Porsche SUV projects, as his replacement.
Porsche sales in the United States have been in the toilet recently and Wiedeking was responsible for trying to engineer Porsche's purchase of Volkswagen with complex financial derivatives.
That transaction is still ongoing but it now looks more like a merger than a purchase with Porsche becoming another Volkswagen brand.
“The merger with Volkswagen is a done deal now,” said Ferdinand
Dudenhöffer, director of the Center for Automotive Studies at the
University of Duisburg-Essen.
According to the New York Times Wiedeking was also one of the highest paid CEOs in Germany;
"He was constantly in the news in Germany, not the least because he
was last year the country’s best-paid chief executive, at €77.4
million. His contract guaranteed him 0.9 percent of the company’s
profits, and in the last few years they were greater than any could
have guessed when the provision was granted in the early 1990s.
Porsche said Thursday that Mr. Wiedeking will walk away with a €50
million severance package, only days after rumors suggested the number
might be four times that."
Michael Macht takes control of the company at a time when new car sales in the biggest market in the world (the United States) are stagnant, but he comes to the position with years of experience at Porsche.
According to The Baltmore Sun Michale Machat's resume includes:
NAME: Michael Macht
AGE: 48; born Aug. 28, 1960, in Stuttgart, Germany.
EDUCATION: Studied mechanical engineering at Stuttgart University.
CAREER: Worked at the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO before joining Porshe
in 1990 where he became a specialist in engine planning. In 1994 he was
named managing director of Porsche Consulting GmbH and in 1998 was
named director of production and logistics.
Macht oversaw the
construction and start of operation of Porsche's Leipzig factory and
has been involved in development of the automaker's Cayenne SUV and
four-door Panamera models. Named Thursday to succeed Porsche CEO