News from the #KodexWende – and a replica of the Handelsblatt critique


Our web designers and IT experts have done a great job: Since yesterday the website for our initiative #KodexWende is ready. Here you will find the arguments for a fundamental corporate governance reform as well as information on current developments.

And there will be no shortage of news in the coming weeks and months: Our initiative is picking up speed; after our statement in the consultation process and the open letter to Federal Justice Minister Katarina Barley, I received a lot of encouragement and concrete offers of support from supervisory boards.

However, critics of the government commission are also experiencing headwinds these days. Many of the planned changes to the code are a “modernisation”, wrote Handelsblatt department head Andrea Rexer at the end of last week.

This applies, for example, to the planned reduction of terms of office to three years. As business models change faster in the age of digital transformation, it is logical that supervisory boards should be able to be replaced more quickly.

How modern is a corset?

In fact, that’s debatable. But I ask myself: Is it really “modern” to make such concrete, uniform specifications for companies of very different colors? Internationally, the governance trend is going in a completely different direction: away from the corset – and towards more concise principles that companies themselves should fill with life.

Rexer also admits that there are arguments for longer terms of office. Why not leave the company room for individual solutions? This would make supervisory boards and board members accountable and stimulate discussion – especially if we link this approach to the “Apply and Explain” principle.

Companies would then have to convincingly explain why they decided on the respective solution.

Imagine that: Corporate governance would then suddenly no longer be an annoying bureaucracy, but a design option. DAS would be a truly modern approach in the face of digitisation, artificial intelligence and cyber.

Any additions, comments, objections? I look forward to your feedback:

Editorial by Peter H. Dehnen -> About the Person.