Volkswagen says board chairman Ferdinand Piech has resigned.

The announcement Saturday follows a rare public clash between Piech and other board members over the leadership of Europe's biggest automaker.

Piech had said in an interview that he was distancing himself from CEO Martin Winterkorn — only to find opposition from other board members who said he had not agreed that stance with them.

The Volkswagen AG statement said that the board's steering committee had met and decided that "the necessary mutual trust necessary for successful cooperation does not exist."

The statement said that deputy board chairman Berthold Huber would serve as interim chairman.