VW committee backs Winterkorn, rcommends contract renewal

The company has attempted to quash rumors pointing to an imminent leadership shakeup.

Attempting to quash rumors pointing to an imminent leadership shakeup, Volkswagen Group has released a statement of support for chief executive Martin Winterkorn.

Supervisory board chairman Ferdinand Piech recently sparked controversy with public comments that suggested he had lost confidence in Winterkorn, fueling speculation that the CEO could be ousted or reassigned when his contract comes up for renewal next year.

"The Executive Committee of the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen AG states that Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn is the best possible Chairman of the Board of Management for Volkswagen," the company said in its first official statement on the matter. "The Executive Committee places great importance on the fact that Prof. Dr. Winterkorn will pursue his role as Chairman of the Board of Management with the same vigor and success as before, and that he has the full support of the Committee in doing so."

Winterkorn has also received support from union leaders, which represent half the votes on the board, and fellow board member Wolfgang Porsche, among others.

"The Executive Committee will now propose to the Supervisory Board to extend Prof. Dr. Winterkorn's current contract in the Supervisory Board Meeting of February 2016," the latest statement concluded.

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