In a sudden and shocking move, Volkswagen Group Chairman Dr. Ferdinand Piëch has resigned effectively immediately.

In a sudden and shocking move, Volkswagen Group Chairman Dr. Ferdinand Piëch has resigned effectively immediately.

In a statement, the Executive Committee of Volkswagen's Supervisory Board said the "mutual trust necessary for successful cooperation no longer exists" so Ferdinand and Ursula Piëch have resigned with "immediate effect."  While the company's statement is light on details, it sounds like the Piëchs were forced to resign as a result of Ferdinand's unsuccessful attempt to undermine Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn.

In the wake of Ferdinand Piëch's resignation, Supervisory Board Deputy Chairman Berthold Huber will be temporary appointed to the position of Chairman of the Supervisory Board.  He will chair both the Supervisory Board meeting on May 4 as well as the Annual General Meeting on May 5, 2015.  Huber will also work with representatives of shareholders and employees to find a new candidate to become the Chairman of the Supervisory Board.

While the news comes as a surprise, Ferdinand Piëch's shadow will continue to loom over Volkswagen for decades to come as the executive played an important role in pushing the company to acquire more brands and build pet projects such as the XL1 and Phaeton.

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