Lufthansa Board Stares Down Investors in Chairman Dispute

Richard Weiss, May 7 2013, Bloomberg

The decision by Deutsche Lufthansa AG (LHA)’s supervisory board to back Wolfgang Mayrhuber’s aspirations to become chairman against investor opposition shows the hurdles in dismantling the chief executive-to-chairman German model.

Mayrhuber, the German airline’s chief executive officer until 2010, renewed his candidacy yesterday to join the board, less than 12 hours after saying he’d back out following criticism from some shareholders. Mayrhuber, 66, changed his mind after the board voiced its “repeated wish” for him to run and key shareholders gave their blessing, the airline said.

The back and forth in the Lufthansa boardroom laid bare the growing tensions between investors no longer willing to accept the previously common transition of executives to the supervisory panel, and a board that had to offset Mayrhuber’s years of expertise against a code of conduct demanding a clearer demarcation line between the two management spheres. Continue reading…

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