HAMBURG/FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Ferdinand Piech, a towering figure at Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) for more than two decades, resigned as its chairman on Saturday after losing a showdown he had provoked with Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn, ending an era at the iconic German carmaker. Piech, the 78-year-old grandson of the inventor of the Volkswagen Beetle Ferdinand Porsche, had previously seen off other executives who crossed him, including his own hand-picked successor as CEO, Bernd Pischetsrieder. "The members of the steering committee came to a consensus that, in the light of the past weeks, the mutual trust necessary for successful cooperation was no longer there," the six-member panel said in a statement after another meeting on Saturday.
Retail clothing chain Abercrombie & Fitch will end by July its "sexualized marketing," after years of blanketing its web sites, store windows and shopping bags with photos of half-naked men, according to the Washington Post. It will also stop using shirtless models or lifeguards at events and store openings for both the Abercrombie & Fitch and the Hollister brands, the newspaper reported late Friday, citing an announcement. Abercrombie & Fitch had come under fire in recent years for its strict dress code and sexualized marketing, and has been in a Supreme Court case for denying a Muslim woman a job because of her head scarf. The changes come as the company faces slumping sales, as teens increasingly move away from the brand, according to the Washington Post.
The game of chicken between Greece and its international creditors is turning into a vicious blame game as Athens lurches closer to bankruptcy with no cash-for-reform agreement in sight. Europe's political leaders and central bankers and Greek politicians agree on only one thing: if Greece goes down, they don't want their fingerprints on the murder weapon. If Athens runs out of cash and defaults in the coming weeks, as seems increasingly possible, no one wants to be accused of having pushed it over the edge or failed to try to save it. Greece's leftist government has already identified its culprit of choice - Germany, Europe's main paymaster, accused of having inflicted toxic austerity policies on Greeks, causing a "humanitarian crisis".