In view of increasingly critical shareholders, the AGM speeches of the Supervisory Board and Executive Board chairmen are gaining in importance. Because if you convince your audience, you can draw decisive votes to your side. However, Bayer CEO Werner Baumann wasted this opportunity: According to a recent analysis by communications scientist Frank Brettschneider, his speech was the most incomprehensible of this AGM season to date. The glyphosate issue brought him “under pressure to justify”. This is “a circumstance that can lead to a more complex language”, comments Brettschneider.
Tapeworm sentences instead of clear messages
A typical Baumann sentence consisted of 16 words (Dax average: 9.6). In addition, many of his sentences were overloaded with information. Bayer CEO Markus Steilemann scored eleven points, his Munich Re counterpart Joachim Wenning 12.7 (after 8.4 in the previous year), and Covestro CEO Markus Steilemann was awarded 12.7 points. At the half-way point of the AGM season, Telekom boss Tim Höttges, who has already finished first in the past three years, is ahead. Close behind him lie Theodor Weimer (Deutsche Börse) and Elmar Degenhart (Conti). Both made better HV speeches than in the previous year.