December 17, 2015 / 7:48 PM / in 2 years

VW's former CEO to draw salary until December 2016 - sources

BERLIN (Reuters) - Volkswagen’s (VOWG_p.DE) former chief executive Martin Winterkorn will be paid by the carmaker until his contract expires in a year’s time, sources close to the company’s supervisory board said.

A worker wearing a protective mask stands next to a Volkswagen logo at a dealership in Madrid, Spain, December 16, 2015. REUTERS/Sergio Perez

Winterkorn took responsibility for VW’s cheating of diesel emissions tests and resigned in September, within a week of the test manipulations becoming public in the United States.

VW’s supervisory board agreed that the 68-year-old’s contract could expire at its due date on Dec. 31, 2016, the sources said, confirming a report by Germany’s Handelsblatt newspaper and public broadcaster ZDF.

One of the sources said that the key goal in talks with Winterkorn was to prevent VW from having to disburse millions of euros in severance payments that would eclipse the former chief executive’s salary.

During almost nine years as CEO, Winterkorn amassed a pension pot of 28.6 million euros ($30.91 million) and last year was the highest-paid CEO among the heads of companies listed on Germany’s DAX-30 blue-chip index with remuneration of about 16 million euros.

A spokesman at Wolfsburg-based VW declined to comment on matters relating to contracts and Winterkorn could not be reached for comment through his law firm.

Analysts have said that the emissions test crisis could cost Europe’s biggest carmaker as much as 35 billion euros in regulatory fines, lawsuits and vehicle refits.

Reporting by Andreas Cremer; Editing by David Goodman

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