Porsche has said chief executive Wendelin Wiedeking and financial director Holger Haerter have resigned with immediate effect.
Wiedeking leaves with a 50m euros (£43m) payoff package.
Earlier this year, Wiedeking failed in his attempt for Porsche to take over larger German rival Volkswagen, despite building a 51% holding in VW.
Now the way is open for VW, Europe’s biggest carmaker, to take over Porsche and add to its brands.
“The news that the Porsche chief executive is resigning is not really unexpected,” said Credit Suisse automotive analyst Arndt Ellinghorst.
“He has… failed to take over Volkswagen, now Volkswagen is going for a reverse bid of the Porsche car business. I think ultimately this is going to be a good outcome.”