Siegfried Russwurm: Where digitalisation is now a matter for the boss

After the personnel turbulences a few weeks ago, we had elected Siegfried Russwurm (55) as the “hopeful” member of the Voith Supervisory Board. It has now become known that the former Siemens board member will be promoted to head of the committee, replacing Hans-Peter Keitel (71), who is retiring due to age. The traditional Heidenheim family-owned company is thus doing what is often just a buzzword elsewhere – digitisation is …

Read More

Michael Otto: From “Amt für Versandhandel” to an agile corporation

The time of the Supervisory Board as a purely supervisory body is over, said Martin Spilker of the Bertelsmann Foundation’s Competence Center for Leadership and Corporate Culture at the German Supervisory Board Conference (DART). For topics such as ethics and culture would increasingly come to the fore. We expressly agree with this finding: more than ever, supervisory boards must become guardians of corporate values and, in many places, drivers of …

Read More
Michael Hilti

Michael Hilti: Corporate Governance made in Liechtenstein

At the German Supervisory Board Conference last Friday (#dart14), Martin Hilti, Honorary President of the Liechtenstein-based tool manufacturer of the same name, provided exciting insights into his corporate governance system. And although the company (27,000 employees / annual sales of CHF 5.1 billion) is likely to violate the detailed German Code on several occasions, especially when it comes to transparency, in our opinion we cannot speak of “bad governance” – …

Read More

Deutscher Aufsichtsratstag: What makes a good foundation supervisory board?

Some donors would turn in their graves: After years or decades, there have repeatedly been fierce conflicts over statutes or corporate strategy; recently, for example, Aldi Nord, ZF Friedrichshafen and ThyssenKrupp made headlines over foundation disputes. In fact, donors have to manage a difficult balancing act by setting clear targets on the one hand, but leaving their successors enough leeway on the other, so that companies can react to new …

Read More
Friedrich Merz

Friedrich Merz: What politics can learn from supervisory boards

Donald Trump demonstrates every day anew that managers are not necessarily the better politicians – especially if they cultivate a basta mentality and therefore divide instead of unite. But what about professional supervisory boards? In an interview with ZEIT, Friedrich Merz said last week that he had learned in the business world how to “build up and introduce successors”. In fact, hardly anyone will doubt that there is a lack …

Read More

Family business: The secret of Röchling’s success

The Röchlings belong to the large, traditional entrepreneurial families of the Republic. Its Mannheim-based company, which was founded in 1822, is today one of the leading plastics processors and generates annual sales of around 1.8 billion euros with almost 10,000 employees. But “history and tradition alone are not suitable as a business model,” family head and head of the advisory board Johannes von Salmuth recently told the Handelsblatt. The company …

Read More
Friedrich Merz

BlackRock: Greedy locust or sustainable investor?

The former VARD executive committee Friedrich Merz is hardly traded as new CDU boss, its present employer comes into the target of the criticism: The world largest asset manager BlackRock is a grasshopper and among other things for robberish Cum ex Deals and unsocial Vonovia rent increases jointly responsible, it echoes from the social media. We don’t want to venture into the party political arena and shed light on whether …

Read More
Football Leaks

Football Leaks: Why Bundesliga supervisory boards insist on compliance

Since the football leaks, we’ve known what we knew for a long time: In professional football, several protagonists try to trick the tax authorities – and sometimes go beyond the limits of what is allowed. This can also become a problem for Germany’s Bundesliga clubs; in the worst case they could be liable for tax losses – for example, if stars or their advisors conduct business through dubious offshore companies. …

Read More
Christian Sewing

Chairman of the board: A song of praise for the bores

At the beginning of October, “Die Welt” proclaimed the “end of the angular types” at the top of the group. Instead, “inconspicuous” guys who “don’t touch” take over Germany’s CEO position. As examples, the authors name Ola Källenius (Daimler), Stephan Sturm (Fresenius), Martin Zielke (Commerzbank) and Christian Sewing (Deutsche Bank) – and state: “Unity porridge instead of United Artists, adapted and smooth sanded”. We can well understand that journalists want …

Read More

Manager Salaries: Who Pays the Best Salary

We discussed it a few months ago: While Germany’s CEOs preach team spirit, many of them are paid as if the well-being of the company depends first and foremost on them alone. And in the meantime more and more studies prove that high salary differences can poison the climate. “The growing inequality can have a demotivating effect on the entire workforce and harm the company as a whole,” said business …

Read More
Alexander Birken

Corporate culture: How Otto boss Alexander Birken attracts talent

Apparently worlds collided: Alexander Birken (54), the head of the Otto Group, reported last week in “ZEIT” about a meeting with Andrew McAffee. According to Birken, the US bestselling author was “firmly convinced” that “companies have no social responsibility beyond business” – in the tradition of Milton Friedman, the forefather of the shareholder value concept (“The business of business is business”). That had made him “very concerned,” said the Otto …

Read More
Martin Brudermüller

BASF boss Brudermüller: In the cave of the green lions

For a long time, chemical companies and the Greens did not seem to fit together. But recently we were surprised by the news that BASF CEO Martin Brudermüller is moving into the new Green Economic Advisory Board, which will be constituted in mid-October. BASF management is conducting an “open discussion with all groups that are interested in a dialogue and a joint shaping of the future,” according to the company. …

Read More