Lehren aus der Räuber-Geschichte

Zapf & Co: The latest lessons from the history of the robbers

You remember Klaus Zapf? The quirky removal company, who died in 2014, kept Germany’s stock corporations on the go for years. Many considered him to be the epitome of a “predatory shareholder” – the species, in other words, that species which blocked AGM resolutions with actions for rescission in order to force companies to make expensive settlements. At peak times, stock corporation lawyer Theodor Baums identified more than 40 so-called …

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Supervisory boards are in the focus of media and public attention before the AGM season. Is this (once again) an attention bubble – or a harbinger of fundamental change?

HELAU, dear readers of GermanBoardNews, the business media are devoting increasing attention to the topic of “Corporate Governance”. Three weeks ago, for example, SPIEGEL wrote under the heading “Loss of control” about “the supervisory boards of DAX corporations”. In the spotlight were (once again) the gentlemen Achleitner, Wenning, Kaeser, Hagemann Snabe and Zetsche. In its current issue, the Manager Magazine highlights two governance topics at once: Dietmar Palan writes in …

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Christian Klein (Adidas)

Supervisory board of the week: Christian Klein (Adidas)

After 16 years, eleven of which as head of the supervisory board, Igor Landau takes his hat off: At the Adidas annual general meeting on 14 May, the 75-year-old Frenchman will not stand for election. Thomas Rabe (54) will succeed him as Chairman of the Supervisory Board, as the company announced a few days ago after a Supervisory Board meeting. The Bertelsmann boss has controlled the sporting goods giant since …

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Stock exchange & quarterly reports: Oliver Bäte on Wiedeking’s tracks

We could write a lot of critical things about Wendelin Wiedeking, but he was right on one thing: The long-standing Porsche boss has persistently resisted the idea that companies on the stock exchange must publish quarterly reports. “We don’t even want to get into the short-winded view, which is based on quarterly targets,” Wiedeking once told Der Spiegel. Almost 20 years later, Allianz CEO Oliver Bäte is following in Wiedeking’s …

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Siemens Hauptversammlung

A short excursion into comedy – and an all the more serious message

Dear readers of the GermanBoardNews, one of the highlights of this week was certainly the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting of Siemens and Joe Kaeser on Wednesday. You may have seen it on the evening news: There he sat, the CEO during the last general meeting of his term of office, and read from a sheet of paper with his head almost bowed: “If we were again in the situation where we …

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Dieter Zetsche

Dieter Zetsche: Bonuses only for success? Where would we go..

We have to talk about manager salaries again. Because the news of the last two weeks has impressively illustrated how much is still in a mess. Thus, despite billions in losses, the board members of Dieter Zetsche are entitled to millions in bonuses – and are desperately trying to spare the supervisory board around Paul Achleitner from criticism. However, their voluntary partial waiver is “not a laudable insight, but an …

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Stefan Oschmann

Stefan Oschmann: Family entrepreneur spirit in a large corporation

The Darmstadt-based pharmaceutical group Merck, which is rich in tradition, has a very special structure: The “members of the Executive Board” around CEO Stefan Oschmann are also personally liable partners. In case of emergency “the first thing I do is lose my private money”, Oschmann said recently in an interview. “I’m fully adhered.” And even beyond that, the top managers at Merck KGaA are almost on a par with real …

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Aufsichtsrätin der Woche: Xiaoqun Clever (Infineon)

Supervisory Board Member of the Week: Xiaoqun Clever (Infineon)

Chip manufacturer Infineon is bringing a media and digital expert on board: At the Annual General Meeting on February 20, shareholders are expected to elect Xiaoqun Clever to the 16-member Supervisory Board. In recent years, the 49-year-old has served as Chief Technology Officer at both ProSieben Sat 1 and the Swiss Ringier publishing house. In the meantime, Xiaoqun Clever is CEO of the software development and IT consulting company LuxNova …

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Digital transformation, climate protection, economic warfare: How we can design corporate governance that is both company and stakeholder friendly.

Dear readers of the GermanBoardNews, while we are keeping an eye on Davos these days, Larry Fink of BlackRock has already sent out his infamous annual CEO letter. Even though it talks about a “fundamental reshaping of finance”, the announced ‘swing’ towards sustainability should not really surprise anyone. And also the topic of climate change should by now be understood by everyone, at least in its basic aspects. One wonders, …

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Herbert Diess

VW boss Herbert Diess: Cultural change through new bonuses?

The problem with many compensation systems is that managers have great opportunities for lavish bonuses, but hardly any risks. Entrepreneurial thinking is not encouraged in this way – on the contrary: the system creates incentives to increase sales and/or profits in the short term, which is often at the expense of long-term development opportunities (keyword reputation). For this reason it is, in our view, a logical reaction to the diesel …

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