Paul Achleitner did not want to speak in general on the supervisory board until Wednesday in Frankfurt. “Any parallel with real companies or processes” is in any case purely “coincidental”, said the chairman of the supervisory board of Deutsche Bank, in order to provide insight into the search for a successor for himself at the time of the specialized congress. After all, the 64-year-old Austrian really wants to cede his office in May 2022 after ten years. This should be different from 2017, when after the first term there would have been no one who would have been worthy and willing to succeed his successor – although many shareholders were hoping for a change at the top in the face of more and more new scandals and the collapse of the share price, some had even insisted.
Such a scenario will not repeat itself, Achleitner promised. It was a decisive decision, but he decided to quit after ten years. “It must be enough now.” He didn’t mention that the bank’s share price has more than halved since taking office in 2012 and that the bank still makes more appearances than it is. The company is now in a state “where it can be held responsible” to entrust the management. However, it is not he who organizes it, but Mayree Clark, the chair of the nominating committee. Clark is also explicitly looking for candidates outside the supervisory body, and this applies not only to the future successor to the Chief Risk Officer, but also to his own. “Internal talents have to deal with the fact that there are other candidates as well, and of course we also do an assessment center with them, which is not dishonorable,” he said.
Names have been circulating for weeks
Indeed, time is running out. The Börsen-Zeitung had already complained this weekend that Achleitner “had not baked it” and that the search for a successor was “difficult”. The European Central Bank, as the continent’s first banking supervisor, has also been pushing for months for Deutsche Bank to finally find a successor for the chief controller. In any case, the names of the candidates have been circulating for weeks on the financial scene in Frankfurt, all already members of the supervisory board, but all apparently hesitant to assume the post. First of all Theodor Weimer, 61, currently CEO of Deutsche Börse and a member of the supervisory body for over a year, was considered fixed, but now appears to be hesitant.
A good search for a successor also includes, according to Achleitner, “that you don’t end the process when you feel like you’ve found the first suitable candidate – and who has already indicated that they want to take on this task.” Maybe things are more advanced than expected.