Forget Cash for Clunkers. I’ll take Cash for Failure.;
We knew some major stuff was going to go down today in the Volkswagen versus Porsche saga, including the possible ousting of longtime Porsche CEO Wendelin Wiedeking. Naively, it hadn’t occurred to me that Wiedeking would be handsomely rewarded for his failure.
So, yeah, it’s true that Porsche was on the verge of going out of business back in 1992, when Wiedeking took the helm, and it’s true that he singlehandedly saved the company and made it into one of the most successful and profitable automakers in the world. He has been amply compensated for these feats over the past seventeen years; in fact, he reportedly is the best-paid executive in Germany.
But like so many egomaniacs, Wiedeking couldn’t be satisfied with just running Porsche. He also wanted to run the Volkswagen Group and set about trying to take control. In the process, he saddled Porsche with unGodly amounts of debt, thus undoing much of his good work from the past two decades. And what is his reward? He gets sent packing with $71 million in his pocket.
It’s nice to know that it’s not just in America that greedy CEOs get rewarded for poor performance.