Peter Meyer has had a rough few weeks as ADAC president, as a string of scandals broke about Germany's 16-million-member motorist club – including that its respected “Yellow Angel” car of the year award was a fix.
Just before stepping down, Meyer told the Bild newspaper that: “When the wind blows head-on, you have to be able to withstand it.” On Monday, it became clear he was no longer able to take the pressure, as he handed in his resignation.
“I no longer want to be the only one accountable for failures and manipulation among the top ranks of the organisation,” he said in a statement released on Monday. He said that he did not have enough support among ADAC board members and it was becoming clear he was about to be sacked.
President since 2001 and known for avoiding the spotlight, Meyer found himself in the public eye in January when it emerged that he and other top managers had been using rescue planes and helicopters to fly to meetings.
His head of communications stepped down after admitting rigging the respected “Yellow Angel” car of the year award, to make it seem more influential.
ADAC is split into different regional branches. Despite being head of the whole organisation, Meyer will remain president of his old regional North Rhine branch. They issued a supportive statement saying the attacks on him “damaged not just ADAC but also his family".
The national organisation said in a statement: "ADAC takes note of the resignation of its president Peter Meyer, who is taking responsibility for the various criticisms which have been levelled at the ADAC club in recent weeks."
Deputy president August Markl will take over until a successor is named at the ADAC's annual general meeting in May.