Baywa boss Klaus Lutz: The last Sun King?

Klaus Lutz

It is one of the most critical portraits we have read in recent years: In its current issue, Manager Magazin writes about Klaus Lutz, who has been managing the fortunes of Germany’s largest agricultural group Baywa for ten years – and criticises his “big ego” and his “baroque and complacent management style”. The 60-year-old is an “autocrat who knows only subjects” and “understands every contradiction as an affront”. Now we are far from prematurely joining the chorus of critics – especially as none of the insiders quoted by Manager Magazin wanted to be named.

What questions does the Baywa Supervisory Board raise?

However, one thing makes us think, and that is the Supervisory Board of the cooperative group (main shareholder: Bayerische Raiffeisen Beteiligungs AG). The main players there are veteran Volksbank officials – first and foremost Manfred Nüssel (CSU), who has been in office since 1983 and took over the chair 18 years ago. There are also signs of conflicts of interest, for example Baywa acquired PC-Agrar in 2015, where Nüssel headed the board of directors. This means that Baywa cannot speak of professional and independent monitoring in accordance with modern corporate governance standards. And that speaks for the thesis of the Sun King Lutz.