Economy, Auto

Porsche to Endorse VW’s Former Management

Porsche to Endorse VW’s Former ManagementPorsche to Endorse VW’s Former Management

Porsche Automobil Holding SE, Volkswagen's controlling stakeholder, will endorse the carmaker's former top management at a shareholder meeting on Wednesday, a spokesman said, despite new regulatory probes related to the diesel emissions scandal.

Volkswagen's supervisory and management boards last month recommended that shareholders ratify actions taken by the management board in 2015, because an investigation of the carmaker's emissions scandal had until then failed to uncover potential wrongdoing by senior managers, Reuters reported.

But prosecutors in Braunschweig, near VW's Wolfsburg headquarters, are now investigating former VW CEO Martin Winterkorn and VW brand chief, Herbert Diess, over whether they manipulated markets by delaying the release of information about the firm's emissions test cheating. Porsche, which owns 52% of Volkswagen's voting rights, "will vote to discharge the management and supervisory boards", a spokesman said on Wednesday ahead of VW's shareholder meeting in Hanover, Germany.

The shareholder conference, VW's first since its emissions scandal broke in September, is expected to air rage among investors and private shareholders about the scandal that will cost VW billions, has forced out its longstanding CEO and tarnished its reputation. A source familiar with the matter told Reuters late on Tuesday that VW's supervisory board has chosen to back the previous recommendation because internal investigations of the scandal until now have shown that no former management board member was in serious breach of duties in 2015. Even Diess, the former BMW development chief who was hired by VW last July to turn around the troubled namesake brand, has the backing of the supervisory board despite the probe, the person said.