FC Bayern Munich does not have a Uli-Hoeneß problem, but above all a corporate governance problem. A network of friendships, dependencies and business relationships prevents effective “checks and balances”: Hoeneß has a kind of community of fate with Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, who has been CEO for 16 years, and the other board members and sports director Hasan Salihamidžić are also known for a high degree of loyalty. Particularly alarming: Even the nine-member Supervisory Board cannot act as a corrective.
Succession planning: Loyal companions instead of strong personalities
The committee lacks independent experts; instead, club officials and companions such as Edmund Stoiber and sponsors set the tone. President and chairman of the supervisory board Hoeneß (66) can therefore act in the manner of a lord of the manor. That went well for a long time, but in the end he seemed to have fallen out of time more and more often. This avenges the fact that Hoeneß has preferred to bring loyal companions into central positions instead of building strong personalities into successors – be it for permanent CEO rummage or for himself.
Should VW boss Diess of all people provide better governance?
An important step would therefore be to finally bring independent experts to the Supervisory Board and to ensure more diversity there (the quota of women is still zero). However, Hoeneß is wasting this chance when VW boss Herbert Diess replaces Rupert Stadler, accused of Dieselgate, which is planned according to Handelsblatt. We find it hard to imagine that a VW manager of all people would help Bavaria advance corporate governance – especially as VW is pursuing its own interests as a sponsor.