Joe Kaeser

Joe Kaeser: How the Siemens boss promotes populism

We recently praised Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser for his clear stance against populism and his commitment to European governance culture. Because we are convinced that top managers now have to show their colours. At the same time, however, they must be measured by their words – through value-based, responsible corporate management. We don’t want to deny that to Joe Kaeser, but we want to point out a discrepancy: Anyone who …

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Lidl boss Gehrig: A Google manager for the control committee

Is this the prelude to a governance reform for the trading giant Lidl? Supervisory Board Chairman Klaus Gehrig (70) and Google Manager Sarah Fix-Bähre, ex-Edeka Board Member Reinhard Schütte and LBBW CEO Rainer Neske bring three external experts to the highest supervisory body, the Schwarz Unternehmenstreuhand (SUT). Since the trio replaces three former Lidl managers, “the balance in the twelve-member committee has changed fundamentally”, comments the “Heilbronner Stimme”. For the …

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Manager salaries: Beiersdorf and the Heidenreich salary

Performance must be rewarded, no question. But especially when everyone is talking about team spirit, the lead of the first management team should not be too big. This is another reason why the Beiersdorf Supervisory Board around Reinhard Pöllath must now be asked: Was the salary of 23.4 million euros, which Stefan Heidenreich, who has since retired as CEO, collected according to Capital 2018, really in the interest of the …

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Frauenquote Aufsichtsrat

Women’s quota: The most powerful supervisory board members in the Dax

Thanks to the statutory women’s quota of 30 percent, the Dax companies have appointed dozens of female supervisory board members. But only a few have made it into the inner circle: according to a Handelsblatt search, only 55 women sit on the powerful presidential, nominal, personnel and mediation committees. This corresponds to a share of around 19 percent. The 12-member Covestro Supervisory Board is better than average, with vice-chair Petra …

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Women’s quota: How Zalando & Co. provoke new laws

Yes, a target figure of “0 percent” for the women’s quota may make sense temporarily – for example, if a board consists of only two to three men who have different “mindsets”. However, in such cases companies have to take the trouble to explain their motives in a comprehensible way in the annual report. Unfortunately, this is often not the case. The Handelsblatt, for example, criticises the automotive supplier Norma, …

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Commerzbank: „My Boni is over the Ocean“

The Supervisory Board of Commerzbank has significantly reduced the bonuses of Martin Zielke’s Board of Managing Directors. As the Handelsblatt reports, the inspectors had raised the base salaries in return, but the bottom line was that manager salaries had fallen. The driving force was probably the “Remuneration Control Committee” of the Supervisory Board, which includes the Chairman of the Supervisory Board Stefan Schmittmann, his Vice Chairman Uwe Tschäge and another …

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Hasso Plattner

Hasso Plattner: The involuntary code rebel

Should a 75-year-old, who has been in office for 16 years, rejoin the Supervisory Board as Chairman? This contradicts the pure doctrine of governance twice, because it has exceeded the age limit and is no longer considered “independent” simply because of its long term of office. On the other hand, Hasso Plattner is a special case: his role at SAP goes beyond that of Chairman of the Supervisory Board. The …

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Wolfgang Reitzle

Wolfgang Reitzle: Pioneer of an excessive shareholder value culture?

At Linde, another wind is blowing after the merger with the US company Praxair. This is the clear message of a double interview with CEO Steve Angel and Chairman Wolfgang Reitzle in the Handelsblatt: From his point of view, “continuous improvements and shareholder value” are central, said Angel, who last collected 22 million dollars a year. Wolfgang Reitzle also spoke in detail about the shareholders and referred several times to …

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AGM season: Harsh criticism of supervisory boards – that’s good!

The first trends emerged at the first Annual General Meetings of the year. Following last week’s shareholder meetings at Osram and Infineon, one thing is certain: shareholders will continue to question the competence of supervisory boards and in particular the heads of committees with increasing vehemence in this AGM season. Last week, for example, the designated Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Infineon, Wolfgang Eder, was targeted: he was “not …

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Katarina Barley

Code reform: Where’s Barley?

At the level of state secretaries and ministry officials, i.e. in the engine room of power, so to speak, some are interested in accompanying the reform of the Corporate Governance Code. Stefan Ramge, head of department at the Federal Ministry of Finance, for example, has written an expert statement on the government commission’s draft – and has not spared no criticism in it. But the heads of department have so …

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Bilfinger Managerhaftung

Manager liability at Bilfinger: Wilsing vs. Hoffmann-Becking

Do twelve former Bilfinger Executive Board members have to pay damages because they have done too little against corruption and thus caused the company several scandals? Two luminaries of their guild have different views: Hans-Ulrich Wilsing (Linklaters) sees “serious breaches of duty”, Michael Hoffmann-Becking (Hengeler Mueller) considers the failures to be manageable. The Bilfinger Supervisory Board has therefore commissioned a third expert opinion on manager liability, this time from Matthias …

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Ariane Reinhart

Ariane Reinhart: The Conti Manager’s Social Program

Sometimes Ariane Reinhart sounds like a social politician: “With us nobody becomes homeless”, the Conti personnel manager is quoted in the current issue of WirtschaftsWoche. According to the report, the 49-year-old did not refer to any social benefits, but to the automotive supplier’s “Future Skill House” concept. This is a comprehensive training program that Ariane Reinhart uses to make employees fit for the future and “reach 95 percent of the …

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