Dear readers of GermanBoardNews,
the corona crisis has also hit us hard: With a heavy heart, we have decided to cancel the German Supervisory Board Meeting in early May or postpone it to a later date. I’m sure you understand and support this – health is an absolute priority at the moment, and every individual is called upon to make his or her contribution and show solidarity with the elderly and sick in our society.
Also in our everyday work life, we will refrain for the time being from all social and professional contacts that are not absolutely necessary. That’s why we are going into a corona mode: the next issue will not necessarily appear in two weeks, but may be cancelled or appear later – possibly in a slimmed-down version. We now want to take the liberty of deciding at short notice what is possible and sensible (and if necessary take care of other things).
The crisis is also an opportunity
But you can be sure that we will continue to monitor what happens. Because challenging times are also exciting times, and there are already signs of this happening: The crisis will mercilessly expose corporate governance problems – and can therefore become a catalyst for reform.
For example, cancelled or postponed general meetings offer the opportunity for a fundamental digital reform of shareholder meetings, which would also have to evolve into stakeholder meetings. At the same time, the trend towards home offices and independent work in many companies is accelerating an overdue cultural change.
And the call for state aid casts a new light on share buybacks and high dividend payouts: How much solidarity are companies and their decision-makers capable of – and when does it become counterproductive? What happens if companies do not pay dividends on a large scale? Does government aid lead to nationalizations – and would there be any other way?
These and other questions will be the subject of lively discussion in the coming weeks. Never before has corporate governance been as topical and lively as it is today, and never before have the Supervisory Board and the Management Board – together – been so challenged as they are today.
We wish all decision makers creativity, courage, perseverance, solidarity, freedom from fear, empathy – and above all health!
Yours sincerely, Peter
Additions, remarks, contradiction? I look forward to your feedback