Robert Louis Schweizer: Charme offensive in the Oetker Advisory Board

Robert Louis Schweizer

Following August Oetker’s withdrawal in March, the Oetker Advisory Board is now more peaceful. The Handelsblatt reported at the beginning of the week that “a better mood” had recently prevailed there. This would have been confirmed by “several persons familiar with the situation”. The new head of the advisory board, Robert Louis Schweizer, is obviously trying to reconcile the family tribes and find a long-term solution. One option, according to Manager Magazin, is to “smash up” the group. Thus the five children or grandchildren from their first marriage could take over the food sector – and the three younger descendants (Alfred, Carl Ferdinand and Julia Oetker) the drinks division.

Compromise on Anna Maria Braun’s personalities?

According to reports, Robert Louis Schweizer, a grandson of the company’s founder Rudolf August Oetker, approached the younger ones about a controversial personnel issue: The family entrepreneur Anna Maria Braun (B. Braun Melsungen), who joined the Advisory Board at the end of 2018 at the insistence of August Oetker, initially did not exercise her mandate. The youngster trio around Alfred Oetker, vice chairman of the advisory board, had filed an appeal against her appointment. At present, the trial is apparently suspended, which speaks in favour of a ceasefire. That would be progress, but we would like to point out that bringing more external experts into the seven-member advisory board would in principle be the right approach – otherwise there is still the danger that family emotions and aversions will shape decisions.