Born : August 28 1952

Biography Wendelin Wiedeking

Wendelin Wiedeking was born in Ahlen (Westphalia) in Germany. He graduated from high school in 1972 in Beckum/Westphalia. Later Wiedeking started the studies ‘mechanical engineerin’g at the RWTH in Aachen. In 1978, after his graduation, Wiedeking remained at the Laboratory for Machine Tools at the RWTH as a research assistant. There he earned his doctorate  in 1983. Just after earning his doctorate, Wendelin Wiedeking starts his career at Porsche AG in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen,as a consultant to the Board of Management for Production and Materials Management.

In 1988 Wiedeking thinks he is ready for a next step in his career. He leaves Porsche to move to the automotive supplier Glyco AG in Wiesbaden. From the managing director, he promotes to be the chairman of the board. In 1990, Wendelin Wiedeking returns to Zuffenhausen as a member of the Board of Management in 1991 and Chairman of the Board in 1992.  At that time, Porsche wasn’t doing good at all. The company was in the red, which put its independent survival in question. In September 1992, Porsche separated from Arno Bohn, Chairman of the Board of Management.

Wendelin Wiedeking was then appointed Spokesman of the Board of Management of Porsche AG on August 1, 1993.  A huge job waits Wendelin Wiedeking.  The company structure wasn’t ok anymore. More important, the public doubted the product range of Porsche. And that reflected in the sales figures. On top of that there were also discrepancies between the Board of Management and the owners, the family Porsche on the one hand, and the family Piëch on the other. The independency of Porsche was in danger. And the only solution was a huge reformation, initiated by Wiedeking.

Wendelin Wiedeking
Wendelin Wiedeking

The number of managers at Porsche was reduced drastically. And quite some work processes that used to be carried out internally, were outsourced.  Despite cutting out approximately 3000 jobs, the reformation improved productivity.  The foundation of own sales companies to open up new sales markets for Porsche products, turned out another master move. 

Wendelin Wiedeking discontinued production of the poorly running Porsche 928 and Porsche 968 models. In return, he modernized the technical and formal aspects of the classic  Porsche 911 model to Porsche 911/996. In addition to these successful measures, he was responsible for the development and construction of the Porsche Boxster as the cheapest Porsche. The model became another successful car and a high performer in the model family.

The introduction of the first Porsche all-terrain vehicle Porsche Cayenne in 2002 was equally successful. In addition to the dominant flagship 911, Wiedeking succeeded for the first time in presenting other models that lived up to its image and economy. Wiedeking had a lucky hand in Porsche’s corporate policy, not only leading the company out of the economic trough, but making it the world’s most profitable carmaker. He succeeded in doing so despite the economic recession in the entire industry.

In 2005 Wiedeking was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Leipzig Graduate School of Management. In the same year he was awarded the “Hans Peter Stihl Prize”. On January 28, 2006 he became a member of the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen AG and in 2007 also Chairman of the Board of Management of Porsche Automobil Holding SE. The value of Porsche increased from 300 million euros to around 25 billion euros in 2007. At the same time he received the Medal of Merit of the State of Baden-Württemberg; in 2008 he became European Manager of the Year.

In September 2008, Porsche increased its stake in VW to 35.14 percent. According to Porsche, VW officially became a subsidiary under the Securities Takeover Act. Due to the financial crisis, however, Porsche’s turnover fell drastically. As VW’s shares were financed by loans, debts accumulated to the tune of around 10 billion euros. Wiedeking then advocated a capital injection from Qatar. However, his plan came under fire; especially VW supervisory board chairman and Porsche co-owner Ferdinand Piëch opposed his plans.

On July 23, 2009, Porsche AG announced that Wiedeking would terminate his contract with the company at his own request and leave Porsche. He received a settlement of 50 million euros. According to him, a charitable foundation will be endowed with 25 million euros.

Curriculum Vitae Wendelin Wiedeking

August 28, 1952 Born in Ahlen/Westphalia, Germany
1972 Final secondary school examination (Abitur) in Beckum/ Westphalia
1972 – 1978  Studies in Mechanical Engineering at RWTH Aachen University, Diploma in Engineering
1978 Scientist at Machine Tools and Business Operations Laboratory,  RWTH Aachen University, December 1983: Doctorate in Engineering from the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering
1983 Director’s Assistant, Production and Materials Management,  Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Stuttgart
1988  Technology Division Manager, GLYCO Metall-Werke KG, Wiesbaden
1989  Member of the Executive Board for the Technology Division, GLYCO Metall-Werke KG, Wiesbaden
1990   Chairman of the Executive Board, GLYCO Metall-Werke KG and Chairman of the Board, GLYCO AG, Wiesbaden
1991 Member of the Executive Board for Production and Materials Management, Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Stuttgart
1992 Executive Board Spokesman, Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Stuttgart
1993 – 2009 Chairman of the Executive Board, Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Stuttgart
2006 – 2009 Member of the Supervisory Board,Volkswagen AG, Wolfsburg
2007 – 2009 Chairman of the Executive Board, Porsche Automobil Holding SE, Stuttgart
2008 – 2009 Member of Supervisory Board, Audi AG, Ingolstadt