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Winterkorn contract still intact

December 18, 2015

German media reports have said the former CEO of scandal-ridden carmaker Volkswagen, Martin Winterkorn, will get his full top-level salary until the end of 2016. It appeared that his contract had not been altered.

VW's Martin Winterkorn
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/U. Anspach

Volkswagen Group would pay its resigned chief executive, Martin Winterkorn, his full salary package until the end of next year in line with the expiry date of the top manager's contract, the German business daily "Handelsblatt" reported Friday.

Sixty-eight-year-old Winterkorn stepped down from his post in September as the German carmaker's emissions cheating scandal unfolded. The former CEO had insisted he was innocent, but was resigning in the interests of VW, taking responsibility for "large-scale irregularities."

"Handelsblatt" and public broadcaster ZDF said there had been no move to terminate Winterkorn's contract in mid-term.

This means that he is to receive an estimated 15 million euros ($16 million) until the end of 2016 as he was paid more than any other chief executive in the top-30 DAX-listed companies.

No information was given as to whether Winterkorn would get severance pay on top of the lifelong pension for VW managers.

High-profile attorney joining the team

The reports came as the Wolfsburg-based auto maker kept struggling to come to terms with the aftermath of its pollution scandal.

The company hired prominent US attorney Kenneth Feinberg to oversee the creation and administration of a program to address claims related to VW's two- and three-liter engines sold with emissions-manipulating software.

Feinberg had handled the compensation fund for the victims of the September 11, 2011, terror attacks in the US and claims following BP's Deepwater Horizon oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

Volkswagen is preparing to recall millions of its rigged diesel vehicles and is facing expensive lawsuits in the US and elsewhere.

hg/uhe (Reuters, dpa)