AGM season: Harsh criticism of supervisory boards – that’s good!

Hauptversammlungen

The first trends emerged at the first Annual General Meetings of the year. Following last week’s shareholder meetings at Osram and Infineon, one thing is certain: shareholders will continue to question the competence of supervisory boards and in particular the heads of committees with increasing vehemence in this AGM season. Last week, for example, the designated Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Infineon, Wolfgang Eder, was targeted: he was “not suitable” for the position, Markus Golinski of Union Investment reprimanded. The company needs a semiconductor expert on the position.

Osram: DWS refuses discharge

It is important “that the Supervisory Board is in a position to identify developments and market trends in this very complex industry at an early stage and to assess them correctly,” said Golinski. Osram Supervisory Board Chairman Peter Bauer also had to listen to criticism; the DWS fund company refused to grant him discharge – as did CEO Olaf Berlin. What those affected find annoying and possibly unfair is for us an expression of a positive development. Instead of retiring to the snail shell insulted, boards of directors and supervisory board members should analyse the points of criticism – and oppose them with a broad cross if they disagree. Then there would be more life in the booth at the general meetings.