HAMBURG -- Volkswagen Group's controlling shareholder families aim to keep the automaker on a shorter leash and want greater say over strategic matters in what marks a power play ahead of the planned listing of Porsche, people familiar with the matter say.
The Porsche and Piech families, who control holding company Porsche SE, which owns most of VW Group's voting rights, are hoping to return the group to calmer waters after a turbulent period under departing CEO Herbert Diess, the people said.
"They want to keep a closer eye on the implementation of the strategic guidelines," a person with knowledge of the families' thinking told Reuters.
Under Diess, VW Group made major steps toward electrification, but his forthright style provoked opposition within the company that sometimes eclipsed his achievements, testing the families' patience, the sources said.
As a result, they plan to run a tighter ship.
"The families are actively involved -- an ability they have long been believed incapable of," a second source said.
The greater influence has already been reflected in the appointment of Oliver Blume as VW Group's next CEO, a move that has drawn fire from several investors because he will also stay boss of VW's Porsche sports car brand even after a planned flotation.
Touted as the "preferred candidate" of the Porsche and Piech clan, Blume is expected to push through the long-awaited initial public offering of Porsche, the families' namesake carmaker he has been leading since 2015, the people said.
Porsche SE and Volkswagen declined to comment.