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Frank Stronach resigns from Magna board

AURORA, Ontario (AP) -- Frank Stronach has resigned from the board of Magna International Inc., the global auto parts giant he founded in his garage in 1957.

Magna announced the resignation of Stronach on Thursday in its third-quarter earnings report, which showed a big increase in profits at the Aurora, Ontario-based company.

Stronach, 80, said he gave up the board seat because he's involved in politics in his native Austria. Stronach founded a party in Austria that advocates the country leave the euro zone and restore the schilling national currency.

"I do not want my political views to be confused with my role on Magna's board," he said in a statement.

Stronach stepped down as Magna chairman last year but remains a well paid consultant. He will receive 2.5 percent of profits this year, 2.25 percent next year and 2 percent in 2014.

Stronach, who emigrated to Canada as a 22-year-old pauper, became a billionaire by creating Magna and building it into one of the world's largest auto parts suppliers. The Austrian-born entrepreneur and his family trust long controlled the company through multiple-vote shares but gave up control in 2010 in exchange for about $1 billion in cash and shares, as well as control over a joint venture that will develop components for electric vehicles.

Magna CEO Don Walker said Stronach's resignation will not change the way the company is run.

"Frank has made enormous contributions over the many years to the culture and the way we structure our company and motivate people and that's not going to change," Walker said on a conference call with financial analysts.