Peter Terium

Boss on the Brink

terium montage
The CEO of RWE, Peter Terium, is facing a revolt by the utility's municipal shareholders, who aren't happy with his decision to cancel their dividends, which fund many city operations.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Disgruntled municipal shareholders of RWE pose a risk to CEO Peter Terium’s strategy to split Germany’s second-largest utility.

  • Facts


    • Municipal shareholders own 24 percent of Germany’s second-largest utility and are angry about canceled dividend payments and Mr. Terium’s management style.
    • RWE is to split into two, with one part focusing on renewable energy and the other on fossil and nuclear fuels to cope with Germany’s shift to green energy sources.
    • Municipal shareholders want to withdraw support for Mr. Terium, effectively calling on him to resign.
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Faced with a canceled dividend and break-up of RWE, municipal shareholders of Germany’s second-largest utility are losing patience with chief executive Peter Terium.

Around 100 representatives of German municipalities, who together own 24 percent of RWE, are calling on shareholders to withdraw support for Mr. Terium when the company holds its annual general shareholders meeting in April.

Shocked with the loss of income, announced last month, and surprised by RWE’s plan last year to restructure and break the group in two businesses, many municipal investors doubt that Mr. Terium has the vision to usher the new company towards a brighter future.

“I don’t trust him,” said one influential representative of municipal shareholders. “My confidence in Mr. Terium has broken down.”

On their own, the municipal shareholders cannot withdraw support for Mr.Terium, because they lack a majority of shares. But they could hurt RWE and Mr. Terium in a different way, because the municipalities are also among RWE’s biggest customers.

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