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Succession

November 14, 2012

Ferdinand Piech, chair of family-controlled Volkswagen, has hinted he could stay at the carmaker for another five to seven years, despite being 75 years old. 

Ferdinand Piech, chair of family-controlled Volkswagen, has hinted he could stay at the carmaker for another five to seven years, despite being 75 years old.

In April, VW shareholders voted for Piech to serve a third term as chairman, to end in December 2016. But in an interview with German newspaper Bild am Sonntag last week, Piech, whose family holds a majority stake in VW, said he wanted to stay around longer to support chief executive Martin Winterkorn.

November 9, 2012

Johann Rupert, the second-generation head of Swiss luxury group Richemont, is to step down as chief executive next year and will be succeeded by two non-family members.

Johann Rupert, the second-generation head of Swiss luxury group Richemont, is to step down as chief executive next year and will be succeeded by two non-family members.

The family business, famous for owning brands such as Cartier and Montblanc, said in a statement today that Bernard Fornas and Richard Lepeu will replace Rupert from 1 April 2013.

Rupert, 62, who transformed the company founded by his father into a luxury giant, will remain chairman of Richemont.

November 6, 2012

Two American family businesses have taken different approaches to their succession planning, with Sheetz relying on its owners while Ford will continue to put its faith in non-family Alan Mulally. 

Two American family businesses have taken different approaches to their succession planning, with Sheetz relying on its owners while Ford will continue to put its faith in non-family Alan Mulally.

Joe Sheetz, presently executive vice-president of finance and store development, will become president and chief executive of convenient store chain Sheetz next year.

October 29, 2012

American media mogul Sumner Redstone has hinted his daughter Shari could succeed him, but even if she doesn’t, the 89-year-old still wants to keep his business interests in the family. 

American media mogul Sumner Redstone has hinted his daughter Shari could succeed him, but even if she doesn’t, the 89-year-old still wants to keep his business interests in the family.

Redstone, who has controlling interests in Viacom and CBS Corp through holding company National Amusements, told the Wall Street Journal that no decision had been made on who would succeed him. But he dismissed suggestions that current Viacom chief executive Philippe Dauman was a shoo-in.

August 31, 2012

The family behind Pernod Ricard, whose patriarch Patrick Ricard died two weeks ago, looks set to take back control of the French drinks company, despite holding just 14% of the business.

The family behind Pernod Ricard, whose patriarch Patrick Ricard died two weeks ago, looks set to take back control of the French drinks company, despite holding just 14% of the business. 

August 30, 2012

The long-running guessing game over who will succeed Edward “Ned” Johnson III in family-run Fidelity Investments appears to be over. 

The long-running guessing game over who will succeed Edward “Ned” Johnson III in family-run Fidelity Investments appears to be over. 

On 28 August, his daughter, Abigail Johnson, was promoted to president of Fidelity Financial Services, a move, the US mutual fund manager said in a statement, consolidates “all of the company’s core businesses under her leadership”.

January 30, 2012

Sigma Corporation, the Japanese camera and lens maker, will remain under the founding family's control despite the death of the company’s patriarch and chief executive, Michihiro Yamaki, who died of cancer on 18 January at the age of 78.

Sigma Corporation, the Japanese camera and lens maker, will remain under the founding family's control despite the death of the company’s patriarch and chief executive, Michihiro Yamaki, who died of cancer on 18 January at the age of 78.

In a statement released on 27 January, Sigma Corporation said the ownership and management of the firm will remain with the Yamaki family.

"Yamaki will be sadly missed but his energetic, capable and compassionate leadership style will be carried forward by his son, Kazuto Yamaki," the company said.

December 23, 2011

The third-generation of Australia’s Grollo family is set to take over the management of the family business, as second-generation and family patriarch Bruno Grollo is retiring from the development and construction company his father founded 60 years ago.

The third-generation of Australia’s Grollo family is set to take over the management of the family business, as second-generation and family patriarch Bruno Grollo is retiring from the development and construction company his father founded 60 years ago.

The company, which is still 100% owned by the founding family and intends to remain private, is best known for building some of Melbourne’s tallest buildings including the Eureka Tower and Rialto Towers.

November 3, 2011

A change in Italian inheritance regulations may affect the way family businesses in the country deal with a generation shift, making it easier for owners to transfer the majority of a company’s shares to a selected member of the family.

A change in Italian inheritance regulations may affect the way family businesses in the country deal with a generation shift, making it easier for owners to transfer the majority of a company’s shares to a selected member of the family.

Under current quota rules called legittima, direct decedents are entitled to 50% or 75% of family assets, depending on whether they have to share the inheritance with the deceased’s spouse or not.

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