Gerry Weber: Was the supervisory board independent enough?

Gerry Weber

To make it quite clear: insolvency is not a disgrace; and if Germany is to mature into a founding and entrepreneurial republic, we must give up general criticism and malice. Of course, this also applies to the insolvency of Gerry Weber, especially since digitalization and new customer preferences are currently posing special challenges for the fashion industry. However, objective causal research is important, and we are particularly interested in the Supervisory Board in this context.

Chairman of the Supervisory Board Schröder’s “close connection”

Especially when a family business is as tailored to its founder as Gerry Weber, strong controllers are needed as a corrective: They must urge patriarchs to build up a successor in good time and question proven strategies. On the part of the shareholders, however, the twelve-member Supervisory Board is dominated by representatives of the founding families and confidants of Gerhard Weber (77) – above all the former Oetker manager and board chairman Ernst F. Schröder (70), who attest the observer a “close connection” to the patriarch. Did that cloud your eyes? We don’t know. We don’t know. But we would have been more comfortable with a chairman of the supervisory board from another generation and region. Formal independence is often not enough.