Dr. Wendelin Wiedeking (born
August 28, 1952 in
Ahlen, Germany) is the
former President and Chief Executive Officer of the
German car manufacturer,
Porsche AG, a post he held from 1993
through July 23, 2009.
He is also speaker of the company's
executive committee and a member of the supervisory board of
Life before Porsche
grew up in Beckum, Germany and attended
RWTH in Aachen.
After graduation in 1978, he remained at RWTH for graduate school
, in order to attain a
. He earned his doctorate in
His professional career began in 1983 as Director's Assistant in
the Production and Materials Management area of Porsche AG in
A mechanical engineer by training, he joined Porsche in 1983, aged
a stint at Wiesbaden based Glyco AG, a subsidiary of auto-parts maker
Federal-Mogul, he returned to Porsche
as head of production in 1991, taking over two years later as
Chairman (CEO) when Porsche was close to bankruptcy.
account of Porsche's large shareholding in Volkswagen
, Wiedeking also found himself on the
supervisory board of that company. Some industry analysts believed
that Porsche could not survive on its own, but Wiedeking, who says
he made his first million by the age of 30 with real estate
investments, took on the challenge.
Wiedeking, then 40 years old, who with his spectacles and moustache
looked like "a clerk at a venetian blinds manufacturer", according
to Der Spiegel magazine, soon imposed his gung-ho management style
on the workforce. Within two years he managed a surprise turnaround
by trimming the product line-up, modernising the production system
based on Toyota's
lean manufacturing system,
and negotiating new work rules with the unions.
"'No risk, no fun' is my motto," he has said.
Wiedeking asserted in a 2006 interview that "every product must
earn money. Otherwise you are simply pursuing a hobby which is no
task for an auto-business". By then he had dropped the unprofitable
models, overhauled the iconic 911
developed two new models, the Boxster
convertible and the Cayenne
Taking big risks helped Wiedeking become the best paid executive in
Germany in 2008, reaping an estimated 80 million euros in salary
after profits exceeded revenue thanks to windfall gains from
financial instruments linked to VW shares.
After years of guidance by Wiedeking, Porsche has become one of the
most productive companies in the automobile industry (in terms of
per unit and overall profitability,
both worldwide). Wiedeking again and again is a candidate for the
guidance of larger automakers (such as Ferdinand Piëch’s
successor at Volkswagen
). Wiedeking has received numerous
honors for his work at Porsche. Among other things Wiedeking, in
2003, was awarded a medal for “humor in the office”.
Wendelin Wiedeking can be considered an example of a successful
manager, when he develops his own management style suitable to the
product. Wiedeking has apperared several times in an
annually recurring article of the American automobile magazine Motor Trend titled "The Power List" (
05/ 06/ 07/ 08/ 09).
The article ranks the most
influential people in the automotive world; in the 2005 article he
was ranked as #6
, in 2006 he was ranked #3
, while in the 2007 article he was ranked as
. Wiedeking dropped to #7
in 2008, but reached a personal high
Wiedeking criticizes the tendency in Germany to notice only
negatives and to "almost look for it."
German business publication manager magazin lists
him as the best paid executive in Europe, citing his annual salary
in 2007 as having been 72,600,000 €.
- Ulrich Viehöver: Der Porsche Chef. Wendelin
Wiedeking - mit Ecken und Kanten an die Spitze. Frankfurt am
Main: Campus, 2003. ISBN 3-593-37207-X. Review in Die Welt of October 13, 2003)