Franz Markus Haniel: Where the Manager Magazine is wrong

Olaf Koch

Things can be seen so differently: When Franz Markus Haniel (63) voluntarily resigned as Chairman of the Metro Supervisory Board almost three years ago, we paid tribute to him. The former Barry-Callebaut CEO Jürgen Steinemann (59) was not a representative of the major shareholder Haniel, but an external candidate – in our view a strong signal for the independence of the Metro Supervisory Board and good corporate governance. However, in the current issue of Manager Magazin, Franz Markus Haniel’s decision at the time is considered “incomprehensible”.

Would Gemkov like to get rid of the Metro boss?

The reason: Since the self-disempowerment, major shareholder Haniel no longer has any direct influence on the composition of the Executive Board – especially since the non-family Haniel boss Stephan Gemkow (58)”is not even sitting on the Metro Supervisory Board as a simple member”. And the same Gemkov does not think much of CEO Olaf Koch, writes Manager Magazin, suggesting that he would like to remove the CEO. We cannot judge this, but we would remind you that the interests of the company and shareholder Haniel need by no means be congruent. For the benefit of Metro, we therefore prefer that an independent Supervisory Board decides Koch’s future. The Manager Magazin, on the other hand, still seems to regard Metro as a division of the Haniel Group.

(Note: After the publication of the Manager Magazine article it became known at the end of last week that Haniel sold Metro shares and reduced its stake to 15.2 percent