VW patriarch Piech's wife up for election to Audi board

Journalists listen and watch on a screen in the press centre the speech of Ursula Piech, wife of Ferdinand Piech, chairman of the board of German carmaker Volkswagen (not pictured), during the annual shareholders meeting in Hamburg April 19, 2012. REUTERS/Morris Mac Matzen

MUNICH, Germany (Reuters) - Volkswagen VOWG_p.DE chairman Ferdinand Piech's wife looks set to join the supervisory board of luxury division Audi in another move by the controlling Piech-Porsche family to solidify its sway over Europe's biggest car maker.

Almost one year after taking a seat on the 20-member board of Wolfsburg-based VW, Ursula Piech will be up for election to Audi’s supervisory panel at the annual shareholders’ meeting on May 16, a spokesman for Audi said on Monday, confirming a report in regional newspaper Heilbronner Stimme.

The appointment of Piech’s 56-year-old wife, a trained kindergarten teacher, to the board of VW’s biggest profit contributor will be nothing but a formality.

The Piech and Porsche families control over 90 percent of the Porsche SE holding company which in turn owns a majority of VW common stock.

Piech, who has chaired VW’s board for a decade after serving as the company’s CEO for nine years, picked his wife in 2010 as deputy head of two Austria-based foundations that control his stakes in Porsche and VW.

Provided she does not remarry, Ursula Piech will take over her husband’s interest when he dies. Ferdinand Piech will turn 76 on April 17.

Reporting by Irene Preisinger Writing by Andreas Cremer; Editing by David Cowell