It is anything but an attractive job description. For a start, the candidate has to run a German blue-chip company that has fallen from grace like no other. Profits are melting away, liabilities are high, the share price in the dumps – and a strategy to climb back out of the crisis is nowhere in sight.
The new chairman will head up one of Germany’s most trying supervisory boards in Germany. He will have to deal with the “normal” shareholders in addition to public representatives from the powerful Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region, who all want to maintain their privileges in the company. On the employee side’s side, there are two trade unions at each other’s throats at the moment.
Manfred Schneider, the current chairman of the board at Germany’s second-largest utility RWE, knows very well the challenges his successor will be facing.
The former Bayer CEO has been on the board since 1992, and chairman since 2009.
He will step down at next year’s general meeting of shareholders and the 76-year-old will have to settle his legacy by then.