Things have grown quieter for the once-powerful Gerhard Cromme ever since his inglorious departure from the steelmaker ThyssenKrupp. The 73-year-old has long since relinquished most of his supervisory roles in top corporations and as the chair of Germany’s Corporate Governance Commission. His stint as head of the supervisory board at Siemens is also drawing to a close.
It’s to his credit that the influential role of supervisory, or non-executive, boards – be it positive or negative – has been made clear to the general public. For example, he was the one who cleaned up after the bribery scandal at Siemens, and helped to steer ThyssenKrupp through troubled times.
It is also to his credit that supervisory board members at leading corporations are very well paid.
Germany’s top supervisory boards have almost doubled their pay within 10 years. Between 2005 and 2015, the average increase was 98 percent, according to an analysis by consultant Heinz Evers for Handelsblatt. As a comparison, salaries for management, or executive, boards increased 55 percent during the same period. According to calculations by the Hans Böckler Foundation, regular employees had to make do with wage increases of 27 percent.