Hasso Plattner

Top vs. Flop: Hasso Plattner & Jennifer Morgan

What is more important – rapid growth or customer satisfaction? The SAP Supervisory Board in the Walldorf “Clash of Cultures” gave a convincing answer. What some dismissed as a “settling of accounts” with former CEO Bill McDermott was much more: In an interview with Handelsblatt last week, SAP founder Hasso Plattner gave deep insights into the company’s culture – and at the same time revealed the real reason for Jennifer …

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Diversity

Top vs. Flop: Ertharin Cousin & Sigmar Gabriel

The Association of Supervisory Boards in Germany (VARD) has some time ago an own diversity ranking of the Dax supervisory boards presented. The idea behind this was that diversity is much more than the quota of women: it is about different ways of thinking, perspectives and networks. Therefore, one of the criteria of the ranking was the diversity of demonstrable relationships: Which committees are dominated by supervisory boards that are …

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Top vs. flop: Günther Fielmann and Kasper Rorsted

For Kasper Rorsted, another difficult week comes to an end. A few days ago, the Adidas boss had to announce poor figures for the first quarter – and get shareholders in the mood for even worse results in the current quarter. There is no doubt about it: Hardly any other manager has come under such public scrutiny during the Corona crisis. After Adidas announced that it was suspending rent payments …

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Bahn Aufsichtsrat

Deutsche Bahn vs. Airbus: Who has the better supervisory boards?

Next Wednesday there will be an election that is not an election: At the so-called Annual General Meeting of Deutsche Bahn on 25 March, the Federal Government will appoint the new Supervisory Board. It is already clear that former Secretary of State for Transport Michael Odenwald will remain chief controller. Elisabeth Winkelmeier-Becker (57), the long-standing consumer policy spokeswoman of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group in the Bundestag, is to become a …

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Frauenquote

Franziska Giffey: The real problem of the women’s quota

Heiner Thorborg has sharply criticized the planned “women’s quota light” for board members. The personnel consultant predicts that this would result in “rows and rows of insufficiently qualified women being promoted to the top”. We disagree: The pool of capable female managers is large enough – one only has to take the trouble to look outside established networks. At the same time, however, we are convinced that supervisory boards still …

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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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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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Klimaschutz Aufsichtsrat

Larry Fink & Joe Kaeser: Climate competence becomes a Greta question for supervisory boards

This figure has given us pause for thought: According to a study, only 22 percent of managers believe that their supervisory board pays comprehensive attention to climate protection. We therefore fear that multi-supervisory board member Barbara Kux (Henkel among others) is right when she states: “In the minds of many supervisory boards, the environmental issue has not yet been properly addressed” (see Handelsblatt commentary “How supervisory boards can learn from …

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Public Governance Kodex

New Public Governance Code: No more BER?

There is no question that there is a lot going on in public companies. Problems such as the BER airport and Deutsche Bahn are no coincidence, but the result of notoriously lax governance in the state sector. Incompetent supervisory boards, nepotism and patchy compliance structures ensure that targets are constantly being missed and call into question the current renaissance of industrial policy. We were therefore hoping for the new Public …

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Paul Singer

Paul Singer: Attention, this man wants to split your supervisory board!

Paul Singer’s Elliott hedge fund is undoubtedly one of the most aggressive activists in Germany. Those responsible at ThyssenKrupp, SAP and Bayer can sing a song about this. “Spreading fear, cashing in, moving on,” is how former Siemens boss Klaus Kleinfeld describes the strategy in the current issue of Capital. The problem from the point of view of supervisory boards: The Singer squad knows how to put their finger in …

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Mitbestimmung

IG-Metall boss Hofmann: From co-determination to blockade?

Shortly after his re-election in October, the head of the IG Metall union made a demand that must not remain uncommented. “If one wants to create a balance between work and capital, co-determination must be strengthened,” said Jörg Hofmann in the Handelsblatt interview. However, the double voting right of the chairman of the supervisory board has so far prevented “real participation”. So should we put labour and capital on an …

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Corporate Governance

Achleitner & Merz: Guiltless guilty? The tragedy of the supervisory boards

ThyssenKrupp, Deutsche Bank, Volkswagen: 17 years after the publication of the German Corporate Governance Code, one scandal follows another. At the same time, criticism of Germany’s supervisory board chairmen as the supreme guardians of corporate culture is growing, understandably. WirtschaftsWoche, for example, recently stated a “cartel of clones” which, despite all the diversity Sunday speeches, led to monocultures in management. That’s true, but if you think we just need new …

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