Chairman of the board: A song of praise for the bores

Christian Sewing

At the beginning of October, “Die Welt” proclaimed the “end of the angular types” at the top of the group. Instead, “inconspicuous” guys who “don’t touch” take over Germany’s CEO position. As examples, the authors name Ola Källenius (Daimler), Stephan Sturm (Fresenius), Martin Zielke (Commerzbank) and Christian Sewing (Deutsche Bank) – and state: “Unity porridge instead of United Artists, adapted and smooth sanded”. We can well understand that journalists want more extroverted types in the executive floors. That promises to make the headlines.

Professional supervisory boards, socially competent CEOs

The catch: Extroverted, charismatic bosses sometimes turn out to be autocrats or sun kings. And in the age of digital transformation, this habitus is highly dangerous because it is more important than ever to form strong teams and give employees room for their own – and faster! – to make decisions. Certainly: A certain sense of mission does not hurt, but at the same time a high degree of social competence is required. We therefore prefer a “pale” Christian Sewing to a tanned Josef Ackermann – and express the professionalism of the supervisory board members who are no longer so easily dazzled.