Martin Winterkorn, along with four other VW board members, earned a combined €25 million ($32 million) last year.
Five board members of the Volkswagen Group are donating a total of €2.5 million ($3.2 million) of their personal income to a German charity, 10% of their combined total income for the year. While currently American carmakers are under fire for excessive executive remuneration, the five VW board members, which includes CEO Martin Winterkorn, made a total of €25 million ($32 million) last year.
The €2.5 million will be given to the Bürgerstiftung Wolfsburg charity, which was set up in early 2007. Located in Wolfsburg, where VW is headquartered, the civic foundation fosters charitable social and cultural projects, with a special focus on supporting children.
The large executive payouts were largely a result of VW's share price spiking in Germany. In late October of this year, VW’s stock briefly touched €1,005 ($1,261), making the company the most valuable in the world at roughly €295 billion, or $369 billion, temporarily exceeding Exxon-Mobil's $343 billion market capitalization at that point.
In early October, VW's share value had risen by almost 55% to give the firm the largest market value of any carmaker in the world at $127.5 billion, exceeding even Toyota's valuation by about $3 billion. The large share price rises also saw Porsche post record profits as it had begun to amass large amounts of VW stock as a precursor to its takeover of the German manufacturer. For the financial year ending July 2008, Porsche recorded a profit of €8.57 billion ($10.9 billion) – a 46% rise on last year’s result.