Karl-Ludwig Kley & the Code: Clear announcement for the 2019 reform year


The days before Christmas are not an ideal time for important messages. Because many addressees are in year-end stress – be it for professional reasons or because they still have to get presents quickly. Some of you may have missed the interview with Karl-Ludwig Kley that appeared in the “Handelsblatt” shortly before Christmas. That would be a pity, because the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Lufthansa and Eon had something to say: The German Corporate Governance Code had “survived”, criticized Kley – and suggested “to abolish it completely”. The government commission also got its fat off: according to Kley, the upcoming reform is “very similar to what happens in a self-awareness group”.

Attitude and a sense of responsibility cannot be enforced

Anyone who suspects in view of these statements that the multi-supervisory board chairman is propagating “laissez-faire” economic liberalism should read the rest of the interview: There Karl-Ludwig Kley called on managers to take a stand on socio-political issues. “If you don’t, you don’t do your job.” In addition, the Management Board and Supervisory Board must “live the values of our society and our company”. We agree – and supplement: A code that is perceived as bureaucratic and patronising is counterproductive in this context. Because attitude and a sense of responsibility cannot be forced.