insurance policy

Predecessor Casts Long Shadow

  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    The new Allianz CEO came in guns blazing with initiatives to modernize, digitize and disrupt the insurer but now his old boss is returning as head of the supervisory board, Oliver Bäte might have to march to the beat of a more familiar drummer.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • Oliver Bäte became the CEO of Allianz on May 5, 2015.
    • Allianz reported net profit of €6.9 billion in 2016.
    • The company has more than 140,000 employees.
  • Audio

    Audio

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Oliver BAETE wird im Mai neuer Vorstandsvorsitzender der ALLIANZ
Allianz CEO Oliver Bäte may soon have to look over his shoulder once his predecessor Michael Diekmann becomes chairman of the company's supervisory board. Source: Picture Alliance

If you ask Allianz CEO Oliver Bäte about the qualities of his predecessor Michael Diekmann, he tends to get a bit effusive. Mr. Diekmann “was a great supporter,” he told Handelsblatt. “He was always a great collaborator.” He is delighted, he said, that the former CEO will return to Allianz as chairman of the non-executive supervisory board this spring.

The impression Mr. Bäte gives is that Allianz, Germany’s largest insurer, will be lining up with a dream team at its upcoming annual general meeting. More likely, however, is that the current Allianz boss is about to feel the heat with Mr. Diekmann as his head overseer.

It took Mr. Bäte just one year as chief executive to antagonize some of Allianz’s more veteran employees. His numerous initiatives to catapult the 127-year-old insurer into the digital age met resistance. It was too much at once, too uncoordinated and yielded too few results, his critics said. They’re now hoping that under Mr. Diekmann, the supervisory board will slow the CEO down.

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