“Overboarding” is what shareholder activists call it when individual executives take on too many corporate directorships at once. The word, which hails from the United States, is now well established in the German corporate lexicon and pressure is piling up on top executives to cut back on multiple appointments.
German business may have become more open and international, but its robust old-boys network is intact. A quick glance around the country’s boardrooms reveals many men in their 60s and 70s.
Moreover, the same faces crop up on a number leading Germany companies’ boards. Although new regulations mandate specific expertise and diversity of gender, corporate Germany keeps hiring familiar figures for its supervisory boards.