Monday, January 10, 2011

Volkswagen extends CEO's contract

Volkswagen AG extended Chief Executive Officer Martin Winterkorn's contract by five years as he aims to complete a merger with Porsche SE and surpass Toyota Motor Corp. as the world's biggest carmaker.
The company's supervisory board unanimously backed the executive's appointment through 2016, Wolfsburg, Germany-based Volkswagen said Sunday. Winterkorn, 63, started as CEO on Jan. 1, 2007, and his current contract expires Dec. 31, 2011.

Under Winterkorn, Europe's largest carmaker added Swedish truckmaker Scania AB to its portfolio and is now merging with Porsche, maker of the 911 sports car. The CEO plans to double production capacity in China with two new plants and open a factory in Chattanooga this year as he seeks to beat Toyota in sales and profitability by 2018.

"Volkswagen seeks continuity at the top of the company so we can concentrate completely on the details of our tasks," Bernd Osterloh, the supervisory board's deputy chief and head of the carmaker's works council, said in a separate statement. "With Martin Winterkorn we'll continue our successful course."

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VW's preferred shares, which have replaced its common stock on Germany's DAX Index since the Porsche deal, have more than doubled since the beginning of 2007. The stock gained 86 percent last year, the best performance in the benchmark index, which added 16 percent.

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