Supervisory Boards: The lessons of the Carlos Goshn case

Carlos Goshn

As almost all managers today talk about team spirit, social competence and ethics, it is sometimes forgotten that they still exist, the Sun Kings on the executive floors. But usually you don’t recognize them at first sight, because they light rhetorical smoke candles or develop their hubris little by little. Supervisory boards must therefore be permanently vigilant – and can learn from the scandal surrounding former Nissan Renault Mitsubishi boss Carlos Goshn when the alarm bells should sound particularly loud.

The Chief Executive Officer and his court

According to Handelsblatt, Carlos Goshn demanded sole decision-making power over manager salaries years ago – including his own salary. In addition, he apparently brought only confidants into the executive floor. Certainly: In the German two-tier system this would not have been formally possible; Goshn benefited from his temporary dual role as Chairman and CEO. But in this country, too, CEOs have their say when it comes to personal details and salaries on the board. However, this can become a problem. Professional supervisory boards are therefore pricked up when CEOs push too aggressively for confidants on the board or for special bonuses for loyal supporters.