Hasso Plattner: The involuntary code rebel

Hasso Plattner

Should a 75-year-old, who has been in office for 16 years, rejoin the Supervisory Board as Chairman? This contradicts the pure doctrine of governance twice, because it has exceeded the age limit and is no longer considered “independent” simply because of its long term of office. On the other hand, Hasso Plattner is a special case: his role at SAP goes beyond that of Chairman of the Supervisory Board. The co-founder is still a driver of innovation and poses “penetrating” questions of detail, top managers report. We therefore believe: Yes, Hasso Plattner should be present again at the Annual General Meeting in May – especially since he has announced that he will present a successor solution in a timely manner.

“Every company, every supervisory board is a special case.”

Incidentally, the debate impressively reveals the pitfalls of sweeping corporate governance rules. Because if you look closely, you’ll see: Every company, every supervisory board is a “special case”. Responsible persons therefore do not need rigid “one-size-fits-all” specifications, but leeway for individual solutions. Hasso Plattner is thus living proof to us that the Government Commission on the German Corporate Governance Code is on the wrong track when it relentlessly relies on detailed recommendations in small parts.