Top vs. flop: Heinz-Hermann Thiele – lateral thinker or lateral driver?

The exchange of blows between Lufthansa’s major shareholder Thiele, management, and the German government shows We need more entrepreneurial spirit in the corporations.   Heinz-Hermann Thiele is a wanderer between two worlds: On the one hand, the owner of Knorr-Bremse is a genuine medium-sized entrepreneur with a patriarchal habitus. On the other hand, the 79-year-old skilfully moves in the habitat of top managers, investment bankers and M&A lawyers, as he …

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Top vs. flop: Saori Dubourg, Donald Trump and the stock market

In the corona crisis, the stock markets have moved far away from reality – especially in the USA. This underlines the fact that prices and indices are poor indicators for assessing economies and companies. Can we change this?   If the future is traded on the stock exchange, the Corona pandemic will soon be over. During the week, the major indices almost returned to pre-crisis levels – even in the …

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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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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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Martin Viessmann

Martin Viessmann: Family entrepreneur gets top supervisory board members

The traditional Hessian heating manufacturer Viessmann has set up a holding company with a prominent “Board of Directors”. In addition to the long-standing company boss Martin Viessmann (69) and his daughter Katharina, three external experts are represented on the board: Madeleine Jahr from the investment banking and consultancy firm GCA Altium, Flick-Gocke-Schaumburg partner Thomas Rödder and Oetker boss Albert Christmann act as “non-executives”. “With the Family Holding, we have created …

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Handelskonzern Metro

Jürgen Steinemann: Clear signal against collectivisation fantasies

“What had got into Jürgen Steinemann? What does he get out of it”, asked the Süddeutsche Zeitung provocatively – and harshly criticised the Metro supervisory board chairman: his behaviour contradicted “the spirit of co-determination”. Using the double voting right to push through the sale of the Real department store chain against the will of the employees raises fundamental corporate governance issues, the Süddeutsche Zeitung said. With all due respect: Jürgen …

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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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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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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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