German automaker Volkswagen held its annual general meeting Tuesday amid conflicts over ownership structure and accountability following the 2015 emissions-cheating scandal.

On Sunday, three key advisory boards told shareholders to vote against all but one board member, arguing the world’s leading car manufacturer retained board members associated with the scandal.

All executives and board members being voted on are incumbent; non-executive senior leadership stays largely unchanged.

Hans Dieter Pötsch, currently under criminal investigation, remains chief financial officer for Porsche, and Volkswagen board chairman.

Several dozen Volkswagen employees are being investigated over the emissions-cheating scheme, which concealed diesel-powered cars’ fuel intake and nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide outputs.

Porsche SE holds 31.2 percent of Volkswagen’s equity, and over half its voting power—the German state of Lower Saxony, over a tenth of equity and a fifth of voting power.

In turn, the Porsche and Piëch families co-own half of Porsche SE, and control its entire voting power.

Critics insist family ownership restricts private shareholders’ influence and hinders proper corporate governance. But many governance models exist.

Rival BMW—though family-owned—affords independent shareholders more power. The Ford family’s model is inverted: fewer shares, more voting power.

Should ownership structures be regulated once a company’s assets pass a certain point?

 

Credit for this article's header image goes to Getty.