Tönnies: bitter feud over advisory councils, pigs and water corpses


As if Clemens Tönnies didn’t have enough trouble at the moment, the quarrel with his nephew Robert is again completely inflamed. This time it is about the Group Advisory Board, which was set up in the course of the “Peace of Westphalia” a good two years ago: As we feared at the time, the committee has become “the nucleus of new conflicts”. According to Manager Magazin, Robert Tönnies accuses the advisory boards Siegfried Russwurm and Reinhold Festge of “negligent voting” since his candidate was not appointed to the management board.

Pigs drowned for doctoral thesis

Now Tönnies has added to the list and even asked the head of the advisory board, Festge, to resign. The reason for this is his doctoral thesis on “alcohol diffusion in water corpses”, for which pigs were made addicted to alcohol and drowned: “They held the animals by their hind legs and dipped them upside down into the barrels; the drowning process lasted up to 12 minutes,” wrote Tönnies a few weeks ago in a fire letter which the “Neue Westfälische” now documented. Since the Tönnies group is committed to “animal welfare”, Festge is unacceptable as head of the advisory board – even if the experiments took place more than 40 years ago. We’re afraid: The letter will cause another escalation. The construction flaws in the corporate governance system – above all unclear responsibilities, double appointments in the committees – provide ample starting points for this.