Blog: Dave LeggettWiedeking supports crumbling hacks

Dave Leggett | 29 July 2009

I sometimes wonder if there is something in the Volkswagen-Porsche politics that we don't know about. Family feud things that are perhaps a little dark and not in the public domain. I will just say this: you wouldn't want to spill Ferdinand Piech's tea over him, would you?

There was a Porsche press release that went out recently when CEO Wendelin Wiedeking fell on his sword that caught my eye.

Now, Porsche releases, when translated into English, tend to come across as a bit dull or just odd. I know not why, that's just how they always seem. I am not necessarily knocking that - I wouldn't do a remotely acceptable job of writing something in German. And the lack of PR slickness in the typical Porsche press release actually has a certain charm.

Anyway, Wiedeking - shoved fairly firmly in the back by Ferdy - bows out and gets a golden goodbye. Porsche sticks out a release letting it be known that Wiedeking is a bit altruistic, does good works. Fair enough. If you earn EUR80m a year, that's a lot of dough to play with and you perhaps don't want to appear greedy. Wiedeking, I know, is involved with various foundations - all good and laudable stuff.

This is an official statement from Mr Wiedeking in the Porsche release to which I refer. May I simply draw your attention to the bit about elderly and suffering journalists. To say the least, not many - openly - take pity on us, as a profession:

Personal reasons but also my responsibility towards society have led to my decision to donate a material amount of money for social purposes.

As a sign of my outstanding relation with longterm members of staff and companions I aim to establish a charitable organisation in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen where the headquarter of Porsche AG is located. With the support of the Porsche union representatives the trust shall be equipped with liquid funds of Euros 25 million and supports/aim at ensuring a socially fair development at all Porsche sites.

Furthermore I will donate to the social fund of Landespresse Baden-Württemberg e.V., the trust of Hamburger Presse and the society of the Verein Kollegenhilfe niedersächsischer Journalisten e.V. a lump sum of euros 500.000 each. According to the goals of the organisations outlined in their respective articles of association the donations should serve as a support for elderly and suffering journalists.

Over and above this I will invest in projects, targeting at creating jobs in Germany. I do pay my taxes in Germany with roughly half of my income being transferred to the state.

The foundation in Zuffenhausen shall complement my two existing charitable trusts in Beckum/Westfalia and Bietigheim-Bissingen, together equipped with a cash donation of Euros ten million.

Thank you and goodbye. Regrets, I have a few, but way too few to mention. Let me please take this opportunity to talk publicly to a much loved and respected comrade. Ferdy, I respect you, of course, but let's give each other some space. I always told you the Cayenne was ugly, but that Americans would buy it. I am sorry to have created such unbelievable shareholder value from a wreck. How terrible of me. Please also say sorry to those banker guys who seemed a little uptight yesterday. I gave them your number. Oh, and can you please stop singing that old Sister Sledge tune under your breath in SB meetings? No-one finds it funny any more. Ciao! Now, where is that Sunseekers catalogue...[this para clearly not his, but added by an elderly and suffering journalist, with a slightly warped sense of humour] 

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