Supervisory Board of the week: Bernhard Pellens (ThyssenKrupp)

Bernhard Pellens

When it comes to accounting, he is a true luminary: Bochum economics professor Bernhard Pellens (62) has written standard works and also dared to step out of the academic ivory tower into business – including as a member of the Supervisory Board of ThyssenKrupp. There he has now been promoted to Chairman of the Board and successor to Ulrich Lehner, as became known a few days ago. In this role, Pellens faces major challenges: The professor of business administration must take the different camps on the supervisory board – led by Cevian partner Jens Tischendorf and Ursula Gather of the Krupp Foundation – on a common course.

Keitel, Steinebach, Spohr: Top managers as supporters

At first, he succeeded in doing so: The Supervisory Board unanimously approved the strategy of the new CEO Guido Kerkhoff at the weekend. However, company connoisseurs do not trust Burgfrieden. Dieter Fockenbrock of the Handelsblatt, for example, warns that shareholders are “mistaken” when they believe that calm is returning. It is obvious “that Kerkhoff, like [also] Pellen, must be emergency solutions”. Moreover, the question arises: Wouldn’t an ex-manager who knows more about business practices be a better choice than a chief controller? After all, Pellens has experienced people at his side – for example Hans-Peter Keitel, former CEO of Hoechtief, Lothar Steinebach, former Henkel CEO, Carsten Spohr, CEO of Lufthansa, and Carola Gräfin von Schmettow, CEO of HSBC Germany.