By on February 25, 2013

“Dieter Zetsche is lucky that he can stay for three more years,” writes Der Spiegel in Germany. The labor side of Daimler’s Supervisory Board had demanded Dr. Z’s head, the magazine writes. After long debates with Daimler’s Supervisory Board Chairman Manfred Bischoff, a compromise was found.

Says Der Spiegel:

“Early in the year, Daimler Works Council chief Erich Klemm and metalworker union boss Thomas Klebe approached Bischoff. They announced that the labor side of the Supervisory Board will unanimously vote against an extension of CEO Zetsches’ contract.”

Labor, but also management criticized Zetsche’s style, or rather the lack thereof. Bischoff threatened that he could veto the decision. In a large German corporation, the Supervisory Board consists of 50 percent representatives of labor, the other half represent the capital. If votes are tied, the Chairman can break the tie.

Instead, a compromise was reached. Zetsche’s contract was extended only for three years instead of five. Wolfgang Bernhard, unloved by the unions for his gruff style, was sent to manage trucks.

For everybody’s edification, a German Supervisory Board  is not a Board of Management. The Supervisory Board supervises, it does not manage. The Supervisory Board cannot tell management what to do. All it can is approve or disapprove management’s proposals.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

6 Comments on “Dr. Z Nearly Lost His Job...”


  • avatar

    thanks for the explanation and insight into what seemed rather odd.

  • avatar
    pgcooldad

    Unfortunately the labor side of the Supervisory Board doesn’t see the value in Wolfgang Bernhard.
    He was the only German Exec when at Chrysler that actually had talent. Down at the unionized plant floor they liked his gruff style. Got to meet him once and he has a personality fit to lead a company in need of change in culture, especially MB.

  • avatar

    I think people in North America like his appearance rather than his Policies, it’s hard to keep a active Man down is it not?

  • avatar
    jimboy

    “The supervisory board cannot tell management what to do. All it can do is approve or disapprove managements proposals.” That is ONE BIG PILE of hairsplitting, Bertel.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      The supervisory board can suggest that management take actions which the supervisory board will find agreeable, or the supervisory board can suggest to management which bus line passes by the welfare office.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      It’s not really hairsplitting. Daimler has a Supervisory Board AND a Board of Management. The relationships are tricky, and unlike any American corporate structure. I think you may be thinking the Supervisory Board is like an American Board of Directors. It’s not.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

  • Re: Generation Why: A Sub-$30k Car “Wouldn’t Be A Lexus”

    speedlaw - Lexus is right here. A luxury brand SHOULD be aspirational. The 320i gets you the proper 3 frame, but with less power and...
  • Re: What’s Next At TTAC

    Jeff Waingrow - I’ve been suggesting this to Derek for a while now. Eventually, a way must be found to do this.
  • Re: Honda Dealerships Asked To Issue Wavers Over Defective Airbags

    Thatkat09 - I mean, I guess its better than not saying anything. At least the buyer of one of these used cars knows some things up and will...
  • Re: What’s Next At TTAC

    Jeff Waingrow - Hey, Dead Weight, a very, very good post. Maybe one of your best?
  • Re: Marchionne: Alfa Romeo Still Not For Sale

    bobman - I can’t believe some of the comments here regarding Alfa achieving its sales goals. The one that is the most ridiculous is lack of distribution. It...
  • Re: Generation Why: A Sub-$30k Car “Wouldn’t Be A Lexus”

    Quentin - Yeah, I usually agree with CR as well, but my test drive of an AWD IS350 F sport left me very impressed. The chassis and...
  • Re: What’s Next At TTAC

    FractureCritical - my only comment to the new EiC is to do things his own way. TTAC is a good site, but I see the same few people in the comment lines every day, and some...
  • Re: What’s Next At TTAC

    Thomas Kreutzer - As someone who has had things go live with some pretty glaring errors I too would value this, mostly because it would make me look a lot less like the chump I...
  • Re: What’s Next At TTAC

    psarhjinian - I’d help a bit, too. Democratized copy-editing, only we’d copy-edit first rather than in the comments.
  • Re: What’s Next At TTAC

    psarhjinian - TTAC used to have a few good men (Daniel Stern and Jeff Puthuff) who did exactly this. That level of journalism went away with Mr. Farago’s...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Authors

  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • Tycho de Feyter, China
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India