April 20, 2015 / 6:13 AM / 4 years ago

VW supervisory board seeks to smooth leadership crisis - report

Volkswagen's CEO Martin Winterkorn (C) and Ferdinand Piech, chairman of the supervisory board (R) attend a media preview day at the Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA) in this September 10, 2013 file picture. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The leaders of Volkswagen’s (VOWG_p.DE) supervisory board plan to meet soon to try to iron out an effective working relationship between Chairman Ferdinand Piech and Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn amid a leadership crisis at the automaker, a German newspaper reported on Monday.

Several key members of the supervisory board including Piech are to meet ahead of VW’s annual shareholder meeting on May 5, Handelsblatt newspaper reported, citing sources close to the supervisory board.

Piech, patriarch of the family that founded Volkswagen and a dominant figure at the automaker for more than two decades, triggered the leadership crisis at the Wolfsburg-based firm by criticizing Winterkorn in a magazine article earlier this month.

But Piech’s iron grip on the German carmaker has been weakened following a confrontation with senior board members last week that nearly resulted in a push to oust him, sources told Reuters.

Reporting by Jonathan Gould; editing by Thomas Atkins and Sunil Nair

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