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Porsche accepts resignation of CEO

The supervisory board of Porsche Automobil Holding SE said yesterday it has voted to accept the resignation of CEO Wendelin Wiedeking with immediate effect.

The statement came after an all-night meeting on the future of the company where the board agreed to seek a capital increase of at least 5 billion euros (US$7.1 billion), and threw its weight behind talks with a Qatar investment fund, according to a spokesman.

"The measure shall create the foundation of building an integrated car manufacturing group with Porsche SE and Volkswagen AG," a company statement said.

Wiedeking will be replaced by Michael Macht, the management board member responsible for production, while personnel chief Thomas Edig will serve as his deputy, the board said.

Holger Haerter, who was responsible for finances, also resigned, it said.

"Wiedeking and Haerter came to the conclusion in the last week that the further strategic development of Porsche SE and Porsche AG would be better when they were no longer the responsible people on the board," the statement said.

Wiedeking and Haerter have agreed to remain available for consultation, the board said. Both also resigned their respective seats at the supervisory board of Volkswagen AG and Audi AG.

"The supervisory board expressed its thanks to both Board members resigning from office for their long lasting work," Porsche said in a statement.

"The board has offered Dr Wiedeking compensation for the termination of his contract, originally maturing 2012, of 50 million euros. Wiedeking accepted this proposal."

The company said Haerter accepted 12.5 million euros, though both executives might see more compensation through other agreements or bonuses.

Charity donations

Wiedeking released a personal statement through Germany-based Porsche in which he outlined a number of charities to which he would donate significant amounts of money. Furthermore, the statement said he had plans for establishing another charitable organization which will aim to support social development at Porsche locations.

The talks with Qatar have been ongoing, and spokesman Albrecht Bamler said the supervisory board agreed to give the go-ahead for Porsche to sign a deal with a Qatar fund.

Bamler refused further details, and would not say whether the 5 billion euro capital increase would come from Qatar, or if it was in addition to what was being sought from the fund.

Porsche is now grappling with some 9 billion euros in debt it accumulated while building up its Volkswagen stake.


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