The traditional Hessian heating manufacturer Viessmann has set up a holding company with a prominent “Board of Directors”. In addition to the long-standing company boss Martin Viessmann (69) and his daughter Katharina, three external experts are represented on the board: Madeleine Jahr from the investment banking and consultancy firm GCA Altium, Flick-Gocke-Schaumburg partner Thomas Rödder and Oetker boss Albert Christmann act as “non-executives”. “With the Family Holding, we have created the best conditions to continue the success of the company in the future”, says Martin Viessmann, whose son Max is managing the Holding as Co-CEO (together with long-standing member of the management board Joachim Janssen).
Generational change: The supervisory board as a corrective?
Indeed, the new structure appears to be an important step towards making the heating and technology supplier Viessmann more independent of thoroughbred family businesses after 102 years. The Viessmann family is thus following in the footsteps of the Draegers, who have gone one step further and banished family members from the supervisory body. An independent Supervisory Board is “an important corrective”, says Stefan Dräger, CEO of the Lübeck-based medical and safety technology company of the same name. We even believe: It can and should be even more – namely a driver of digital transformation and guardian of corporate culture. However, this is probably much more important elsewhere than with the Viessmann family, who have already resolutely driven the transformation forward.