European Technology, Media and Telecoms Correspondent
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Apr 25, 2015

Ruthless Volkswagen patriarch Piech overplays last hand

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Ferdinand Piech’s iron-fisted rule over Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE: Quote, Profile, Research) helped him build an empire spanning fuel-efficient city cars to 40-tonne trucks, but in the end he overplayed his hand and was forced out before reaching his goal of making VW the world’s biggest carmaker.

A grandson of Ferdinand Porsche, the founder of the sports-car maker who developed the Beetle under a 1934 contract with the Nazis, Piech devoted his life and a 51-year career in the auto industry to making Volkswagen No. 1.

Apr 25, 2015

Ruthless VW patriarch Piech overplays last hand

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Ferdinand Piech’s iron-fisted rule over Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) helped him build an empire spanning fuel-efficient city cars to 40-tonne trucks, but in the end he overplayed his hand and was forced out before reaching his goal of making VW the world’s biggest carmaker.

A grandson of Ferdinand Porsche, the founder of the sports-car maker who developed the Beetle under a 1934 contract with the Nazis, Piech devoted his life and a 51-year career in the auto industry to making Volkswagen No. 1.

Apr 25, 2015

Volkswagen Chairman Piech resigns after failing to oust CEO

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Ferdinand Piech, a towering figure at Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) for more than two decades, resigned as its chairman on Saturday after losing a showdown with Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn.

Piech, the 78-year-old grandson of the inventor of the Volkswagen Beetle, had previously seen off other executives who crossed him, including his hand-picked successor as Volkswagen CEO, Bernd Pischetsrieder.

Apr 25, 2015

VW Chairman Piech resigns after failing to oust CEO

FRANKFURT, April 25 (Reuters) – Ferdinand Piech, a towering
figure at Volkswagen for more than two decades,
resigned as its chairman on Saturday after losing a showdown
with Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn.

Piech, the 78-year-old grandson of the inventor of the
Volkswagen Beetle, had previously seen off other executives who
crossed him, including his hand-picked successor as Volkswagen
CEO, Bernd Pischetsrieder.

Apr 23, 2015

Bilfinger says major restructuring awaits new CEO

FRANKFURT, April 23 (Reuters) – Germany’s Bilfinger
signalled a major shake-up under its new chief
executive after the loss-making engineering services company’s
fifth profit warning in less than a year sent its shares
tumbling 15 percent.

Any part of the business in which there are doubts over
future performance will face the prospect of reorganisation and
restructuring or could even be discontinued, interim CEO Herbert
Bodner said.

Apr 22, 2015

Bilfinger issues fifth warning in under a year

FRANKFURT, April 22 (Reuters) – German building services
firm Bilfinger issued its fifth profit warning in
under a year on Wednesday, saying its U.S. oil and gas business
was faring worse than expected and demand in its power plant
business remained weak.

The company said it would carry out an “extensive
restructuring and a fundamental realignment” of its power
business, which has been hit by Germany’s switch to renewable
energy, after it made a loss in the first quarter.

Apr 21, 2015

Osram paves way for possible lamps spin-off

FRANKFURT, April 21 (Reuters) – Germany’s Osram
plans to transfer its 2 billion-euro ($2.5 billion) general
lamps business into an independent legal structure, it said on
Tuesday, paving the way for a possible spin-off or sale.

The move to separate itself from the mainly traditional
lamps operations, which are in decline as competition increases
from light-emitting diodes (LEDs), lifted Osram shares more than
6 percent to an all-time high of 51.30 euros.

Mar 30, 2015

McDonald’s starts table service in Germany

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – McDonald’s Corp is introducing table service in Germany as it reinvents itself as a “modern, progressive burger company” under new Chief Executive Steve Easterbrook.

The world’s biggest fast-food chain has been testing myriad new ideas, including kiosk ordering, custom burgers and even a completely new restaurant brand in a bid to revive slumping sales and better compete with more nimble chains ranging from Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc to Burger King.

Mar 26, 2015

Sky Deutschland CEO Sullivan quits for Fox -sources

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Sky Deutschland Chief Executive Brian Sullivan is leaving the company and two sources familiar with the matter said he was headed for a senior post at Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox [NWSNA.UL].

The German pay-TV operator, which is also part of the Murdoch empire, said on Thursday Carsten Schmidt, currently in charge of sports, advertising sales and Internet, would succeed Sullivan when he left for the United States on June 24.

Mar 19, 2015

Kion’s cautious forecasts hit shares after record year

FRANKFURT, March 19 (Reuters) – German forklift truckmaker
Kion gave a conservative forecast for 2015 on Thursday,
saying it expected only slight increases in orders, sales and
profits after a record 2014.

The world’s second-biggest forklift truck maker after Toyota
Industries said it expected a flat operating margin
this year in the face of fierce price competition in western
Europe, its main market, and investments to make its plants more
efficient.

    • About Georgina

      "Currently based in London, with particular responsibility for professional publishers and the European activities of global technology, media and telecoms firms. Previously European technology correspondent based in Frankfurt. Began career in local radio in Glasgow and then worked in TV news for many years for Reuters, the BBC and Sky News in London and Moscow."
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