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2010]

The German Supervisory Board on Its Way to Professionalism

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exchange (Deutsche Börse – DAX30).95 At that time, CEOs became principally always supervisory board chairpersons.96 This practice poses the inherent risk that former management board members try to conceal corporate malfeasance having its seeds in the time when they still served in the management board. Moreover, former management board members may oppose strategic reorientation and transformation of the company conducted by their successors.97 Furthermore, they may frequently lack the necessary independence from the current management board members.98 Therefore, it is convincing to recommend limiting the flow of personnel from the management board to the supervisory board.

However, it was also persuasive that Section 5.4.4 GCGC was designed as a rule that permitted exemptions in specific situations. If the company lacked appropriate alternative candidates who could become chairperson of the supervisory board, or if former management board members possess specific firm‐related knowledge, skills and experience, this could provide special reasons for becoming supervisory board members.99 In any event, the supervisory board had to present special grounds for deviating from the restrictive rule of Section 5.4.4 GCGC.

2. Cooling‐Off Period

The enactment of the Act on Adequacy of Executive Compensation as of 31 July 2009100 has changed this legal situation. This law is meant to be an answer to the latest financial

95 Christian Bender & Hendrik Vater, Lückenhaft und unverbindlich – Der Deutsche Corporate Governance Kodex lässt auch nach der Überarbeitung wichtige Kernprobleme der Unternehmensüberwachung ungelöst, 41 DSTR 1807, 1808 (2003).

96 Günther H. Roth & Ulrike Wörle, Die Unabhängigkeit des Aufsichtsrats – Recht und Wirklichkeit, 33 ZGR 565, 585 (2004); see also Gunnar Dieling, Der Wechsel aus dem Vorstand in den Aufsichtsrat, in DIE AKTIENGESELLSCHAFT IM SPIEGEL DER RECHTSTATSACHENFORSCHUNG, 111, 116‐121 (Walter Bayer ed., 2007).

97

Schiessl (note 58), 598; Bender & Vater (note 95), 1808; Roth & Wörle (note 96), 586; Lieder (note 83), 572‐573.

98 See, Carsten Peter Claussen & Norbert Bröcker, Corporate‐Governance‐Grundsätze in Deutschland – nützliche Orientierungshilfe oder regulatorisches Übermaß, 45 AG 481, 490 (2000).

99 See, Michael Endres, Organisation der Unternehmensleitung aus der Sicht der Praxis, 163 ZHR 441, 456 (1999); Oliver Rode, Der Wechsel des Vorstandsmitglieds in den Aufsichtsrat – eine gute Corporate Governance? Neuregelung in Ziff. 5.4.4 Deutscher Corporate Governance Kodex, 61 BB 341, 342 (2006); Bender & Vater (note 95), 1808; see also, Martin Frühauf, Geschäftsleitung in der Unternehmenspraxis, 27 ZGR 407, 417 (1998); Albrecht Schäfer, Der Prüfungsausschuss – Arbeitsteilung im Aufsichtsrat, 33 ZGR 416, 417‐418 (2004).

100 Bundesgesetzblatt 2009 I, 2509; for this purpose see generally Ulrich Seibert, Das VorstAG – Regelungen zur Angemessenheit der Vorstandsvergütung und zum Aufsichtsrat, 63 WM 1489‐1493 (2009); Holger Fleischer, Das Gesetz zur Angemessenheit der Vorstandsvergütung (VorstAG), 12 NZG 801‐806 (2009); Gerald Spindler, Vorstandsgehälter auf dem Prüfstand – das Gesetz zur Angemessenheit der Vorstandsvergütung (VorstAG), 9 NEUE JURISTISCHE ONLINE‐ZEITSCHRIFT (NJOZ) 3282‐3291 (2009); Gregor Thüsing, Das Gesetz zur Angemessenheit der

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