Winterkorn to remain at Volkswagen helm until end-2016
Martin Winterkorn will remain as head of German carmaker Volkswagen until the end of 2016 after his contract was extended by five years, the company said Sunday.
Winterkorn took over as CEO in January 2007 and his contract was due to expire at the end of 2011, but the company's supervisory board "has unanimously agreed to prolong (his mandate) by five years," it said in a statement without elaborating.
German press reports said the main goal in keeping Winterkorn on board was that he complete the integration of Porsche and Suzuki into the company.
German magazine Der Spiegel had in November reported the likely extension of Winterkorn's contract, saying he would be looking to push the brand in China, the United States and India with the goal of overtaking Japan's Toyota as the world's top carmaker.
The head of the works council representing the firm's employees, Bernd Osterloh, said in a statement that Winterkorn "has the full support of employees."
Volkswagen, based in the German city of Wolfsburg and owning brands including Lamborghini, SEAT and Audi, has set a goal of becoming the world's number one automaker by 2018.
© 2011 AFP