ThyssenKrupp’s chairman of the supervisory board resigns
Author: Dimitri Lagun
Group loses another senior manager
Ulrich Lehner, the chairman of the supervisory board of ThyssenKrupp, has announced his resignation. At the end of the month, he will resign from his mandate and from the supervisory board. Lehner became a member of the supervisory board of ThyssenKrupp in 2008 and took over the leadership of it in 2013.
According to the industrial group, the supervisory board will soon appoint a follower. After CEO Heinrich Hiesinger also recently resigned his position, the group is now in a leadership crisis.
Lehner criticized the lack of confidence of the major shareholders. The Supervisory Board was burdened by a lack of common understanding about the strategic direction. The 72-year-old fears a destruction of the group, which is desired by some investors.
In an interview with DIE ZEIT, Lehner reported about the “psycho terror” of some shareholders who would spread untruths in public and burden neighbors and family members. Nevertheless, there is no need at ThyssenKrupp.
Especially, the Swedish financial investor Cevian Capital exerted pressure. With 18 percent, he is the second largest single shareholder. The investor called for a fast restructuring of the group. “In an integrated network of submarines, steel trade and elevators, we cannot recognize, like most of the owners, an industrial sense,” said Cevians founding partner Lars Förberg to the ZEIT magazine. The US hedge fund Elliot also urged to review the business and repel in the absence of return.
IG Metall regretted Lehner’s resignation. NRW district manager Knut Giesler described it as the very last wake-up call for all those involved. Towards the Rheinische Post Geisler said, the group is restless, although they urgently need rest at the moment.
IG Metall was also upset about the resignation of ThyssenKrupp manager Heinrich Hiesinger and feared a destruction of the conglomerate. At the beginning of July, Hiesinger announced his resignation after the steel division of the group merged with the European part of the Indian group Tata Steel. The merger is intended to bring the Group forward. This will create the second largest steel group in Europe.