FRANKFURT -- Volkswagen Group's controlling parent company, Porsche Automobil Holding SE, today said in a statement that it has proposed Hans Dieter Poetsch as chairman of VW's supervisory board, a post that Ferdinand Piech quit earlier this year.
Poetsch, 64, has been VW's finance chief since 2003.
Volkswagen said its executive and nomination meetings supported the proposal. The decision will have to be approved by the full supervisory board and then voted on at an extraordinary shareholder meeting in November.
Evercore ISI's global automotive research head, Arndt Ellinghorst, welcomed the move. Poetsch is "well respected" in the financial community and has a "clear understanding" of the key financial problems that the VW Group is facing, Ellinghorst said in an emailed statement. These include high capital and r&d spending, along with high labor and material costs, he said.
VW CEO Martin Winterkorn, once considered a candidate for the chairman role, is set to have his contract as CEO extended until 2018 from 2016 at a supervisory board meeting on Sept. 25.
The automaker has been seeking a new chairman since Piech quit in April after losing a showdown over strategy he had provoked with Winterkorn.
Piech backs a move to install Poetsch board chairman, Porsche Automobil Holding said. In a statement, Wolfgang Porsche, chairman of Porsche Automobil Holding, said: "Hans Dieter Poetsch enjoys the unequivocal support of the entire Porsche SE supervisory board."
Piech is a member of the supervisory board of Porsche SE, which owns 51 percent of Volkswagen.
Poetsch is seen as a safe choice who will not polarize the power players at Volkswagen, but one investor criticized his shift from day-to-day management to an oversight role without a break.
“While we very much respect Mr. Poetsch as CFO, we are against his direct transition to the head of the supervisory board,” Ingo Speich, a fund manager at Union Investment, said via an email. “A supervisory board chairman needs critical distance; that’s not possible without a cooling-off period.”
Volkswagen said a successor for Poetsch as CFO will be decided soon. Rupert Stadler, head of the Audi brand, could be a candidate for that post.
Bloomberg and Reuters contributed to this report