Ferdinand Piech Net Worth

Estimated value: € 37 billion
Age 82
Born 04/17/1937
Died 08/05/2019
Country of origin Austria
Source of wealth Entrepreneur
Last updated: Aug, 2021

Ferdinand Piech Net Worth Age Height Bio

Short introduction

Ferdinand Karl Piëch (born April 17, 1937, Vienna – August 25, 2019, Rosenheim, Germany) – Austrian-German automobile manufacturer; Entrepreneur, designer, manager and majority shareholder. Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen AG (2002-2015) and MAN (2007-2015). A member of the Porsche automobile dynasty (direct grandson of the dynasty’s founder Ferdinand Porsche) – had Austrian citizenship.

Early life

He was the third child in the family of lawyer Anton Piëch (1894-1952) and his wife Louise Porsche (1904-1999). His father managed the Volkswagen works in Wolfsburg during World War II. Mother was the daughter of a well-known car designer and entrepreneur Ferdinand Porsche. Ferdinand Piëch therefore refers to the “female” branch of the descendants of one of the pioneers in the auto industry.

In 1962 he graduated from the Technical University in Zurich, his thesis was devoted to the design of the engines of Formula 1 cars; Piëch holds a doctorate in engineering honoris causa.

The undisputed business success of Piëch includes the development of the Volkswagen group, which it achieved thanks to its offensive strategy. In 2009 he signed a contract to merge Porsche and Volkswagen.

Career

In 1963 Ferdinand got a job as an engineer at Porsche in Stuttgart from his uncle. He then became technical director. In 1968 Ferdinand directed two thirds of the Porsche Group’s annual budget into the construction of 25 Porsche 917 motorsport vehicles, which were designed under his supervision. This number was necessary to take part in the 24-hour race at Le Mans. The family was extremely dissatisfied with Ferdinand’s action in relation to household alignment. If a car had failed, the company would be on the verge of bankruptcy. However, the Porsche 917 was an absolute success and won the legendary auto marathon.

In 1972 Ferdinand started to work at Audi, where he rose the career ladder and became Chairman of the Board of Management. At that time, Audi produced mid-range cars. However, while at work, Ferdinand managed to transform the company into a premium automaker. He actively pursued a policy of introducing various technological innovations – the installation of 5-cylinder engines, quattro all-wheel drive systems, lightweight aluminum body panels and other innovations. In 2011, Audi overtook Mercedes-Benz for the first time in its global premium car sales.

In 1993 Ferdinand took over the management of Volkswagen. At that point, the company was in poor shape, posting an unprecedented annual loss of over 1 billion euros. Ferdinand immediately decided to lay off almost the entire leadership while not reducing the ordinary workers. Due to the continued work in various directions, the company’s net profit in 2002 was 2.6 billion euros.

Overall, the market value of Volkswagen has increased 15-fold in 22 years. Under Piëch, Volkswagen entered the luxury car industry during his tenure (in 1998 the company acquired Bugatti, Bentley and Lamborghini). As of 2012, the group controlled 12 brands, including manufacturers of trucks and buses, MAN, Scania, Ducati motorcycles and others.

Career highlights

Resigning from the Volkswagen Supervisory Board – Piëch has always been very demanding of his employees and this was the reason for the dismissal of many of them. His next victim was his own candidate, Martin Winterkorn, CEO. The reasons why Piëch rejected Winterkorn were not disclosed. Piëch, however, underestimated his protégé. He managed to win the love and support of most of the employees, members of the supervisory board and even the Lower Saxony government in Wolfsburg – the capital of Volkswagen. All five other members of the Supervisory Board voted on April 25, 2015 against Piëch’s request to dismiss Winterkorn. Piëch and his wife Ursula left the group’s supervisory board. The stock exchange reacted to Piëch’s departure by increasing the share price by 5%.

Since 1984 Ferdinand Piëch was married to Ursula Piëch (* 1956), a former governess of the family, for the second time. The family has lived in Salzburg since 2002. They have three children together. Piëch has a total of twelve children from previous marriages and relationships. He liked Far Eastern culture and Japanese ethics and was an experienced sailor.

His most important awards

2011 “Man of the Year” – according to the American magazine “Automobile Magazine”;
2011 – title “The most important manager since 1971” (“Manager Magazin”, Germany)
2002 – a medal from William Exner, fund of the same name (Austria);
1999 – “Automotive Manager of the 20th Century” (Global Automotive Elections Foundation, USA).

Famous quotes

“I’m at a distance from Winterkorn”
“Volkswagen was a cancer patient who had given up on himself.”
“I won’t guillotine until I’m sure who it was.”
“I am the chairman of the supervisory board of Volkswagen AG, I am not the savior of Porsche.”
“I was always of the opinion that one could live with the VW law.”

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