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[LONDON] Volkswagen appointed two members of the Piech family to its supervisory board on Thursday, seeking to regain the initiative ahead of what is likely to be a tense shareholder meeting after a damaging public row at the helm of the carmaker.
Chairman Ferdinand Piech, a towering figure at VW for more than two decades, resigned last Saturday after losing a showdown he had provoked with Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn.
Louise Kiesling, MrPiech's niece, and Julia Kuhn-Piech, a board member at truckmaker MAN SE and also a member of the Piech family will take up their posts immediately, VW said.
The Piech family and the Porsche clan together hold a majority of voting shares in VW.
Mr Piech's departure has left a void at the top of Europe's largest automaker and a host of questions about the future of the company ahead which will be aired at VW's annual shareholder meeting on May 5. His wife Ursula also quit her board post.
"The search for a successor to Piech at the top of the supervisory board has utmost priority for investors," said Ingo Speich, a fund manager at Union Investment which holds 0.6 per cent of VW preference shares.
VW said the new members were appointed by a court in Braunschweig, Germany to fill the vacancies following a request by the carmaker's top management. VW's 20-seat supervisory board is evenly split between stakeholder and labour representatives.