Armin Laschet vs. Stephan Weil: Who is the father of corporate governance?

Armin Laschet

Stephan Weil fights tirelessly for the automotive industry. Anyone who says that in ten years’ time there will no longer be any combustion engines will “see the most important industry in this country against the wall”, said the SPD politician last week. The problem: As a listener one wonders who is speaking – the Prime Minister of Lower Saxony, who is committed to the welfare of all citizens? Or the VW Supervisory Board, which is committed to the well-being of the company? Because his commitment to the industry would in any case be more credible if he had left his mandate on the supervisory body to an independent expert, as we and others have repeatedly demanded.

Armin Laschet: Why we see no conflict of interest

Weil’s North Rhine-Westphalian counterpart Armin Laschet (CDU) has also come under fire in the area of corporate governance. “Mister Doppelrolle” was the title of the Handelsblatt newspaper because of its commitment to ThyssenKrupp. The decisive difference, however, is that Laschet does not sit on the supervisory board but on the board of trustees of the major shareholder Krupp Foundation. Corporate governance expert Christian Strenger is therefore right to state that there is no conflict of interest: As a member of the board of trustees, Laschet had to pay attention to the preservation of the company – which largely coincided with the desire to “preserve economically meaningful jobs”. We had therefore already asked Laschet in 2018 to become more active – and we hope that his commitment will not come too late.