Volkswagen said on Wednesday engineer Hessa Al-Jaber would replace Akbar Al Baker as Qatar's representative on the carmaker's supervisory board, allowing it to meet a legal quota for women board members ahead of a key shareholder meeting.
Reuters cited a source familiar with the matter as saying Qatar, which holds a 17 percent stake in Volkswagen (VW), would nominate Al-Jaber for a board seat. The appointment would help VW meet a requirement for 30 percent of the seats on its supervisory board to be occupied by women. It also paves the way to formally install Hans Dieter Poetsch at the helm of the supervisory board.
Poetsch was appointed chairman by a German court last October in the wake of an emissions test rigging scandal and following the surprise resignation of his predecessor Ferdinand Piech, but his nomination needs to be confirmed by shareholders at the German carmaker's annual meeting on June 22.
Al-Jaber will replace Akbar Al Baker, who has been on the supervisory board for only a year. VW said Al Baker had missed a number of supervisory board meetings. Germany, where there is not a single female chief executive among the 30 firms on the blue-chip DAX index, introduced quotas in January requiring major companies to boost female representation on non-executive boards. Al-Jaber has worked as minister of information and communications technology in Qatar. Though women will still have only four of the 20 board seats after the Qatari nomination, VW will meet legal requirements as the number of female shareholder representatives is rising to three out of 10 members.