Innsbruck (OTS) – The ultimate demand for resignation from the top management by the group around Markus Langes-Swarovski marks a new high point in the family-internal power struggle. The time for a break free is pressing more and more.
The Dallas and Denver clan used to be, today the family saga takes place in Tyrol, and it is completely real and with threatening consequences for thousands of employees. Since the founding of the crystal company by the Bohemian immigrant Daniel Swarovski in 1895, the company, which has long been known worldwide, has had many brilliant successes, but also serious crises such as in the 1970s or later with the bankruptcy of the Zale retail chain in the USA.
The more than 200 members today and around 75 shareholders with voting rights did not always agree, even in the past. Such a public power struggle, like the one that has been going on since the previous year, has never been seen in the previously often secretive group. The massive job cuts, especially in Wattens, discussions about the restructuring of the structures including a possible IPO and fears that the head office will be relocated to Switzerland under the current leadership of Robert Buchbauer and Mathias Margreiter, had already occurred in the previous year in the workforce, national politics and parts of the family were also shaken up – and as a result of the Corona upheaval, there was also a massive loss and the failure of the previously generous dividend.
One thing is clear: The group, which had to struggle with extremely cheap competition from Chinese crystal components, for example, before the Corona crisis, has to vigorously rebuild its structures and also save if it does not want to lose its independence and even endanger its existence. And encrusted family decision-making and power structures of the Swarovski clan should have long been changed.
The how, however, is highly controversial, as the legal dispute with the Manfred family group, who feels they have been booted out, shows on the open stage and with lawsuits involving millions. But the new highlight is undoubtedly the letter from a group around the two largest shareholders, Markus Langes-Swarovski and Marina Giori-Lhota, to the shareholders, in which they ultimately demand that Buchbauer and Margreiter withdraw from the top of the company this year and the appointment of family-independent managers (the TT reported exclusively). Especially since the group around Industry President Christoph Swarovski is calling for this, the days of Buchbauers are finally numbered in view of a two-thirds majority against him.
Swarovski has to get back into calm waters quickly. Family members have often mentioned responsibility for the legacy of founder Daniel Swarovski with Wattens as “heart and brain”. Now it is important to do justice to this with courage and the will to reach agreement.
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