Yes, of course we have heard of shareholder value. But that does not change the fact that we put customers first, then workers, then business partners, suppliers and dealers, and then shareholders.
—Dr. Wendelin Wiedeking, CEO, Porsche, Die Zeit, April 17, 2005
Porsche had always been different. Statements by Porsche leadership, like the one above, always made Veselina (Vesi) Dinova nervous about the company's attitude about creating shareholder value. The company was a paradox. Porsche's attitudes and activities were like that of a family owned firm, but it had succeeded in creating substantial shareholder value for more than a decade. Porsche's CEO, Dr. Wendelin Wiedeking, had been credited with clarity of purpose and sureness of execution. As one colleague described him: “He grew up PSD: poor, smart, and driven.”
Porsche's management had created confusion in the marketplace as to which value proposition Porsche presented. Was Porsche continuing to develop an organizational focus on shareholder value, or was it returning to its more traditional German roots of German cronyism? Simply put, was Porsche's leadership pursuing family objectives at the expense of the shareholder?
Porsche AG was a publicly traded closely held German-based auto manufacturer. Dr. Wendelin Wiedeking, had returned the company to both status and profitability since taking over the company in 1993. Immediately after taking over Porsche, he had killed the 928 ...