Volkswagen scandal

Ex-VW CEO in line for €60 million pay-off

Ex-VW CEO in line for €60 million pay-off
Martin Winterkorn. Photo: DPA
Martin Winterkorn who stepped down as CEO of Volkswagen on Wednesday could receive a €60 million golden handshake from the scandal-hit car manufacturer.

The group based in northern Germany's Wolfsburg declined comment on the subject when contacted by AFP.

But according to last year's annual report, the company has set aside €28.5 million for the retirement of its former chief. And that is a sum that Winterkorn is entitled to get.

Added to that is a possible payout for “early termination” of contract, which is worth “a maximum of two years' remuneration”.

Winterkorn drew a salary of €16.6 million in 2014, and €15 million in 2013, according to the company's last two annual reports.

Two years' salary would therefore amount to more than €31 million for the man who has been Germany's highest paid executive.

If he obtains the early termination payout, that means the 68-year-old stands to draw a total of around €60 million after his departure from the company.

It is nevertheless uncertain whether he will get the full sum as “no severance payment is made if membership of the board of management is terminated for a reason for which the board or management member is responsible”.

In a statement issued to announce his resignation, Winterkorn said that he accepted his “responsibility for the irregularities that have been found in diesel engines,” but insisted “I am not aware of any wrongdoing on my part.”

But the steering committee of the group's supervisory board expressly said in its own separate statement that Winterkorn “had no knowledge of the manipulation of emissions data.”

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