Schöffel, Kärcher & Co – the Corona stars of the German economy


It is in the crisis that character shows itself, they say. Those who have proven their worth in the pandemic so far – and those who have not.

As the end of the year approaches, it is time for a balance sheet. We therefore asked ourselves: Which owners and managers have proven in 2020 that “responsible corporate governance” is more than just an empty phrase for them? During our research and debates, the following Corona stars have emerged:

  • Deutsche-Wohnen boss Michael Zahn set up a relief fund for tenants in need .
  • Kärcher CEO Hartmut Jänner pays monthly bonuses to employees who cannot switch to the home office.
  • Fashion entrepreneur Peter Schöffel has bought goods from suppliers that he did not need.
  • Marc and Günther Fielmann topped up the short-time working allowance.
  • Conti personnel manager Ariana Reinhart wants to use short-time work to make employees fit for the digital age.

Trust gained, company strengthened

What all examples have in common: Despite the high pressure and great imponderables, decision-makers do not just look at the figures. They also think of the people who make up a company – the employees, the customers, the suppliers.

In this way, the Corona stars have not only demonstrated an attitude, but have also gained trust and strengthened the corporate culture. This is why the chances of success after the crisis are increasing.

The situation is different for those who sent employees on short-time working with tight deadlines, refused goodwill to customers or delayed business partners. And those who, like Adidas boss Kasper Rorsted, did the same despite their coffers being full to bursting will take a particularly long time to regain trust.