- Michael Otto, German Retailer, Calls for Fairer Taxation
Gerhard Schröder, the former chancellor of Germany, received the country's Ludwig Erhard prize this week, presented by Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble.
The prize recognized Mr. Schröder, a Social Democrat who led the country from 1998 to 2005, for his work in reforming the German welfare system, which made the country more competitive, the Ludwig Erhard foundation said. His reforms, known as Agenda 2010, aimed to promote economic growth and reduce unemployment by changing unemployment benefits, job centers and making hiring more flexible.
Some observers saw the award as a subtle dig at Chancellor Angela Merkel. Roland Tichy, who heads the foundation, said Mr. Schröder deserved praise especially given the current government’s lack of direction in terms of economic and social policy.
Karin Kneffel, an artist from Germany, has won the Cologne Fine Art prize for her painting.
Painting has become less fashionable than video and installations, but Ms. Kneffel, who was taught by the influential German painter Gerhard Richter, stuck with her chosen medium.
Her work has been described as eloquent, lush and seductive, bringing together different places and events, creating perfectly constructed impossibilities.
The judges presenting the prize, which is presented annually by the German gallery association and the Koelnmesse, said Ms. Kneffel’s work shows virtuosity and a masterly hand bordering on the magical.
The prize is worth €10,000 and will be presented on November 16.
Klaus Patzak, a former finance board member at Osram, is moving to the same post at Bilfinger, the struggling industrial conglomerate.
Bringing experience from Siemens as well as Osram, Mr. Patzak stepped into the breach after Thursday's exit of current board member, Axel Salzmann. Sources close to the company said there hadn’t been any personality clashes, rather that Mr. Salzmann had been unhappy with the sale of Bilfinger’s real estate services division.
The CFO switch is one of a string of changes at Bilfinger. Earlier this summer, the company appointed a new chief executive, Thomas Blades.
Bilfinger, which started out as a construction company in the 1880s, has transformed itself into a services group, comprising construction services, industrial services and energy services.
Tom Enders, Airbus’ chief executive known affectionately as Major Tom, is streamlining structures at the company and will take tighter control over Airbus' civil aviation subsidiary.
Mr. Enders announced the changes in late July, though these were not picked up by media. He announced plans to reduce duplicate work between the mother company and the divisions, and become faster and more efficient.
Some of these changes need approval form the non-executive supervisory board. Mr. Enders also intends to move away from having two headquarters in Toulouse, according to an insider. Right now, Airbus has a center for the Airbus Group and another for Airbus civil aircraft.
The changes are seen as a way to improve Mr. Enders' access to the Airbus subsidiary.