July 19, 2009

Porsche chief to get $140M parachute

The biggest golden parachute ever given a European executive awaits Porsche chief Wendelin Wiedeking, The Sunday Times of London reported.

Without naming sources, the newspaper reported that should Volkswagen complete a purchase of the debt-burdened German sports car maker, Wiedeking would stand to collect $140 million in payouts, dwarfing the previous parachute record of $82 million awarded former Daimler chief Jurgen Schrempp in 2005.

The Sunday Times quoted industry insiders as Wiedeking could command an even more lucrative payoff, and has hired one of Germany's top lawyers to negotiate for him.

The newspaper said the deal is proving controversial at a time when such king-sized bonuses and severance payments to corporate leaders are drawing the scorn of governments worldwide, who blame them for encouraging short-sighted business policies that are partly responsible for the global economic crisis.

Wiedeking is reportedly expected to offer his resignation Thursday at a company meeting in Stuttgart, when the Sunday Times says supervisors will make clear their intent to become part of Volkswagen in an $11.3 billion deal.