Zetsche doesn’t want anymore – economy

It was firmly established, and the previous head of the supervisory board of the Stuttgart car manufacturer Daimler, Manfred Bischoff, 78, had stuck to it so far: he wanted to make Dieter Zetsche, 67, his successor as chief supervisor, against all criticism of this personnel. Zetsche, who left in May 2019 after 40 years with the company and 14 years at the top of Daimler, was to be elected to the supervisory board next spring – after the prescribed two-year “cooling-off phase” – and then take over the chairmanship.

But now suddenly Zetsche no longer wants. “I was wondering if I am doing the company a service. And if I am doing myself a favor by taking on this task now,” he said FAS: “Ultimately, I have decided that I don’t want that, that I do without it.” There had previously been vehement criticism. Investors criticized the fact that with the long-time boss Zetsche as chief supervisor no new start was possible and threatened headwinds at the shareholders’ meeting.

“We have taken Dieter Zetsche’s decision with great respect,” said a Daimler spokesman on Sunday. How it continues now is open. Time is of the essence because a solution has to be found in good time for the shareholders’ meeting next spring. It is unlikely that the former Dasa boss Bischoff, who has been in office for 13 years, will continue again. Then either someone from the supervisory board would have to do the job or a new candidate would have to be elected to the board. Joe Kaeser, 63, the outgoing Siemens boss has been on the supervisory board since 2014, is now considered a possible successor to Bischoff. Bernd Pischetsrieder, former head of VW and BMW, Clemens Börsig (ex-Deutsche Bank), Jürgen Hambrecht (ex-BASF) and Telekom boss Tim Höttges also sit on the committee.

Daimler now threatens a leadership crisis if the personnel is not clarified quickly. The car manufacturer is in a tricky position anyway. There have been high losses recently, the corona crisis hits the company, thousands of jobs are being cut, the share price is in the basement. Zetsche’s successor, the Swede Ola Källenius, is struggling hard, the conversion to an electric car builder is expensive and tedious. Competitor Tesla is way ahead. In addition, Chinese investors recently joined Daimler, almost unnoticed by the public and the Board of Management. There are fears that they will continue to expand their stakes and influence and that they will target the traditional brand in particular. They may occupy one or more seats on the board of directors.

“Of course I would have liked to have done this task. I also believe that I would have done it well,” said Zetsche about his waiver. He sits on the advisory board of the discount chain Aldi Süd and is currently also chairman of the supervisory board at Tui. The badly ailing tourism company has already received state aid twice and now wants to implement a capital increase. Chief Overseer Zetsche is challenged here.


Athletics – Postponement for Russia – Sport

The world athletics association World Athletics has granted the Russian association Rusaf a five-month delay in an effort to obtain a possible readmission. The ultimate deadline for submitting a detailed and appropriate plan is now March 1, 2021, World Athletics announced on Saturday. The original deadline was September 30th; the Russia task force had proposed the extension of the deadline to the world association.

In November 2015, Rusaf was suspended for the first time because of widespread doping in Russian athletics. Since then, the suspension has been extended more than a dozen times. The draft plan submitted by Rusaf by the end of August was “better than what came before”, the task force found and referred in particular to the “admission of a doping culture in Russian athletics”. Nevertheless, the plan is “seriously flawed and does not meet most of the requirements,” said the statement.

According to the task force, this is not due to the Russian association’s lack of will, but rather to “a lack of know-how and resources”. If the plan is not in place by March 1, 2021, World Athletics warned, the council will “reconsider the issue of excluding Rusaf.”

It was not until mid-August, and after a delay, that Russia paid the US $ 6.31 million penalty imposed for the doping manipulation. This was one of the sanctions imposed by World Athletics. Failure to pay would have threatened Russia’s exclusion from the world association. The World Anti-Doping Agency had banned Russia from the summer and winter games for four years for manipulating doping data. At the same time, she had left the door open to participation for allegedly unpolluted athletes in the country under a neutral flag.


Prantls Blick – The thing with the new federal states – politics

Every Sunday, Heribert Prantl, columnist and author of the SZ, deals with a topic that will be relevant in the coming week – and sometimes beyond. Here you can also order “Prantls Blick” as a weekly newsletter – exclusively with his personal reading recommendations.

How long is the new new? It depends on. The new newspaper is old the next day. It takes a little longer with the new sweater. With the new iPhone too. But the new apartment and the new house are still new even after the iPhone is old again. And an industrial plant is new until it is written off for tax purposes. Perhaps that is one reason why the new federal states are still called new federal states: Because these federal states are not written off, but are still being adapted to the west of the Federal Republic within the framework of the “Aufbau Ost” program.

Are the new federal states still new?

In any case: Hardly anything else in the world has been new for as long as the new federal states. The children who were born when these new federal states became the new federal states are now thirty years old. They are no longer new people, just young people. The reunified Germany will celebrate its birthday next Saturday – it will be thirty years old. And there will still be talk of the new federal states at the celebrations and in the speeches. But maybe that’s simply because you can’t think of a better name. As long as that is the case, the states of Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia will remain the five new federal states. Perhaps the Federal Agency for Civic Education should start a competition to find a better name. Otherwise the new federal states are still called that on their fiftieth and hundredth birthday.

New is usually a word that has music in it. New is usually good, new is modern, new is better than old. What is new does not have to be justified. It’s justified because it’s new. As I said: new is good; new is sustainable; old is questionable, new is in demand. The old has a question mark, the new an exclamation mark: The new woman! The new man! The new structure! The new image! The new software! The new virtues! The new is considered modern, fit, fresh, unusual, unheard of, up-to-date and just in time. What is interesting about the designation “new federal states” is therefore that there is also something deficient in connection with “new”, at least in the west of the republic – something has to be developed there, something has to be built up.

Horst Dieter Schlosser, literary scholar, initiator and spokesman for the “Unwort des Jahres” campaign, believes that the main reason for the tenacity of the word “new federal states” is our convenience: “It’s like the sunrise. We still call it that, although since It has long been clear that the earth does not revolve around the sun. “

A political harvest festival

Such thoughts come to me next Saturday, which is not a normal Saturday. It’s a holiday; a black-red-gold festival day, a political harvest festival: on October 3rd, Germany pauses and celebrates thirty years of German unity.

October 3: The date of this holiday has been rumored because it is a technical date, not an emotional one. That’s also true: October 3rd, 1990 was the day of the legal execution of what had already been decided; On this day in 1990, the GDR’s accession to the Basic Law, approved by the People’s Chamber, became legally effective. The federal flag was hoisted in front of the Reichstag, the national anthem was played, fireworks were set off; Speeches were given in the Philharmonie. October 3, 1990 was a day of harvesting what the people had sown a year earlier, in October 1989.

Wrong date: The actual festival day is not October 3rd, but October 9th

On October 3, we actually celebrate October 9: the third of October has its roots, its original reason, on October 9, 1989, in the Monday demonstrations in Leipzig. The SED officials had expected a few thousand demonstrators at the time. There were seventy thousand; Civil rights activist Friedrich Schorlemmer recalls that they did not know that they would be seventy thousand, otherwise it would have been three hundred thousand. It was their courage that started it all: every participant had to reckon with the worst. In June 1989, Erich Honecker had forced the GDR People’s Chamber to applaud the Chinese party leadership because they had massacred their opposition on the “Square of Heavenly Peace”. But October 9th in the GDR remained peaceful; so more, even larger, demonstrations followed; demonstrations took place in 200 locations. The destabilization of the regime gained momentum.

Appropriation of the peaceful revolution by the West German elite

The West Germans did not perceive it all so intensely because they were not there, because the images of the Monday demonstrations in the West were not as powerful as those of the fall of the Berlin Wall. But none of this was achieved by West Germans, that was not yet Helmut Kohl’s success. October 9, 1989, the storming of the German Bastille, was an East German affair, not directed and directed from the West. This direction and direction came later, when the unit was organized the way it was organized – by contract and accession. This is what the 3 October stands for, for the organization, for the guidance and direction of German unity; This October 3rd date also stands for the appropriation of the revolution by the West German elite. But the core of October 3, 1990 remains October 9, 1989. It is the day of the German miracle.

From revolutionary magic drink to national brew

Thirty years of revolutionary history: This is a story that begins with the prayers for peace in Leipzig’s Nikolaikirche and which hopefully does not end with the “We-are-the-people” shouts from Pegida and the AfD. The revolutionary magic drink from 1989/1990 turned into a völkisch brew in 2020, with racism as a flavor note. There is a lot of sales, the AfD praises it. The perversion of revolutionary change into a reactionary trade is to be lamented, but one that attracts quite a few citizens.

German moon landings

The German miracle: there were few days like this in German history. There is the democratic revolution of 1848 and there is the democratic revolution of 1989 – I like to refer to them as the German moon landings. They were spectacular achievements that were hardly made useful for democracy. The unique thing about the revolution of 1989 was this: some did not hang anyone, others did not shoot. And Egon Krenz, Honecker’s successor, did not fulfill the fears placed in him. That too should be honored on Unity Day. One can also include in the celebrations those who, for whatever reason, did not shoot. There has been too many shooting in Germany. Let us be pleased that this did not happen on the turning point in recent German history.

Let’s look forward to the thirtieth birthday of the reunified Germany. Let’s hope for a united Europe.


Wolfgang Clement is dead – politics

The former Federal Minister of Economics and North Rhine-Westphalian Prime Minister Wolfgang Clement is dead. The 80-year-old died peacefully in his bed at home in Bonn early on Sunday morning with his family, the German press agency learned from the family. The New Westphalian had previously reported.

The New Social Market Economy initiative also confirmed Clement’s death. The former SPD politician, who last supported the FDP, was chairman of the network’s board of trustees. FDP boss Christian Lindner tweeted on Sunday: “The FDP mourns the loss of Wolfgang Clement. As a social liberal, he campaigned for social advancement, work and growth throughout his life.”

Badly marked by illness

At the end of August, Clement had come to a dinner from Prime Minister Armin Laschet (CDU) for the 74th birthday of NRW. His illness – he suffered from lung cancer – had already marked him by then.

When Clement turned 80 on July 7th, the former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder (SPD) told the German Press Agency: “Wolfgang Clement made a big political difference, in North Rhine-Westphalia as well as at the federal level.” Schröder went on to say: “I gave him great credit for giving up the office of Prime Minister in 2002 and accepting the post of Federal Minister for Economics and Labor in my cabinet.” Together with the head of the Federal Chancellery at the time, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, he was one of the key players who designed the 2010 reform agenda, said Schröder.


Transfer news: current changes and transfer rumors – sport



Media: Dest cancels Bayern and Barcelona

Courted young man: Sergino Dest.

(Photo: AP)

  • FC Bayern could lose the courtship for Sergino Dest from Ajax Amsterdam.
  • Goalkeeper Loris Karius could return to the Bundesliga, namely to Union Berlin.

All reports and rumors

It is the transfer summer after the Corona break. German clubs can sign players from July 15th to October 5th. Who will be the bargain of summer 2020? And how much money are the English clubs throwing on the market this time? The SZ is there – with all rumors and enforcement reports.

© SZ.de/sid/dpa/jbe

Read more on the subject

To the SZ homepage


Hop farm near Nandlstadt – fire causes millions in damage – Freising

A fire in a farm in Nandlstadt caused millions in damage this Sunday. According to the police headquarters in Munich North, the fire destroyed an agricultural building and a warehouse on the site of a hop farm. Part of the harvest also fell victim to the flames. The rescue workers were alerted around eight o’clock. According to initial findings, a fire broke out in the area of ​​the hop drying plant for a previously unknown cause, which spread over a large hall and other extensions. The approximately 200 firefighters and technical aid organizations managed to protect the adjacent house and other buildings. One person suffered a minor head injury while attempting to extinguish the fire and was driven to hospital.

© SZ vom 28.09.2020 / beb / beb


Bielefelds Edmunsson: Faroese meets in the Bundesliga – sport

A man from the Faroe Islands is the new hero of East Westphalia. Joan Simun Edmundsson, 29, has been since Saturday, to be more precise: since his substitution in the 67th minute, the first Faroese in the Bundesliga and since the 78th minute of this game between Arminia Bielefeld and 1. FC Köln also the first Faroese goalscorer in Germany’s highest league. With his goal for a 1-0 (0-0) victory, he gave Bielefeld their first win of the season in their first Bundesliga home game in eleven years. After the 1: 1 at the start of the previous week at Eintracht Frankfurt, the Armines now have four points in their account. The Cologne, however, also lost the second game of the season and are without a point. “It sucks,” said defender Rafael Czichos.

On the Faroe Islands between Scotland and Iceland, the almost 50,000 residents are already familiar with this tabular constellation, because Edmundsson revealed after the game that “everyone is looking at the Faroe League” – because of him, of course. He started his professional career at Newcastle United ten years ago and in the past two seasons was the first Faroese to play in the second German division. This summer, the Faroe Islands have now risen to the Bundesliga with him, so to speak – with him and the city of Bielefeld, where around seven times as many people live as on the many small islands up there in the icy European North Sea.

Bielefeld waited 4145 days, nine years and four months for this Bundesliga home game. Since relegation in 2009, Arminia even played in the third division for three years and faced economic failure several times. With this in mind, Saturday should have been an official holiday in Bielefeld, the shops closed, the streets decorated, the team bus ride to the stadium should have been lined with tens of thousands of people throwing their hats in the air. So much for the imagination.

The reality in Corona times was of course different. There was hardly anything going on on the nearby Siegfriedplatz, a traditional gathering point for many fans, and residents were no longer selling sandwiches or chilled drinks from the front gardens around the arena in the middle of a residential area. 5460 spectators were allowed to watch the historic game in the stadium.

“Eddy has a special sense of humor that you have to understand,” says coach Neuhaus

These 5,460 exclusively Bielefeld sympathizers created an estimated mood for 10,920, because everyone probably had the feeling that they had to replace a missing fan. And they might even have set the mood for 16,380 before the 78th minute, if their well-positioned, amazingly self-confident and proactively trying to get possession of the ball, Arminia had managed to radiate a bit of scoring danger even before the Faroese fanal. But this was not so. Cologne had the only mini chance shortly before the break when Czichos missed a fluttering free kick from Ondrej Duda right in front of the goal. Up to the 78th minute, the game lacked any spectacle.

So it had to be 5:03 pm before the Bielefeld fans sang: “The DSC is back.” Because at that moment Edmundsson had scored the first Bundesliga home goal for DSC Arminia since May 2009. It was actually not a real chance, because the 29-year-old had run into a long ball from his own goalkeeper Ortega, but was drifted so far to the right in the penalty area and so close to the goal line that nobody sensed any real goal danger – including Cologne Goalkeeper Timo Horn apparently not, who was probably surprised by Edmundsson’s direct shot on goal from a tight angle. Horn touched the ball minimally, but it slipped from his leg directly into the goal.

“Sure it was on purpose,” grinned left-footed Edmundsson over his right-hand goal in brittle German. His trainer Uwe Neuhaus later had to laugh at this statement. “Eddy has a special sense of humor that you have to understand.”

“Happy”, Neuhaus called the victory of his Armines and, as a down-to-earth Ruhrgebiet Westphalian, did not want to boast of the four points. “We know how to classify that.” The mood in the Faroe Islands is likely to have been more exuberant on Saturday evening.


Bavaria: Private forest owners make high losses – Bavaria

You have to be able to afford idealism, “says Matthias Muth, looking at the small, fenced-in area in the middle of the forest near Holzkirchen. All around are tall spruce trees. That is not a monoculture, he explains, because otherwise the trees would all be the same age. The spruce trees around him are between 30 and 100 years old. A few years ago he planted fir trees inside the fence, they looked good, they are already almost three feet high and in good health. In between, a lot of maple has spread, by Muth doesn’t know where he’s from. In his 16-hectare wooded area near Holzkirchen there isn’t any, and not even at the edges. Muth doesn’t complain about it, he’s more enthusiastic about what nature regulates by itself.

In 2015 he sold the spruce trees that grew there in front of the young fir trees and the wild maple for good money. Spruce is an excellent construction timber and is accordingly in great demand. So far it has been in great demand, because the price for the solid cubic meter of spruce has fallen from a good 100 euros to 50 euros within a few years. The same goes for the jaw. Drought, heat, storms and the bark beetle have caused massive oversupply. But the wood has to get out of the forest, otherwise pests will nest in it.

For the approximately 700,000 private forest owners in Bavaria, this means that they now pay extra for every pine and spruce – almost 60 percent of all forest trees in Bavaria. On the one hand, the costs for felling and processing are high and, on the other hand, there is less money per cubic meter for damaged wood. “20 to 30 euros if I’m lucky,” says Muth. He is now missing around 10,000 euros a year. “I’m not angry if nothing works, I’ll make up for it,” he says. Then he works more as a freelance gardening and landscaping engineer.

The spruce trees still tower over the maple and fir trees. They protect the young trees that can grow in their shade until they are big enough. It takes about ten years, maybe longer, it depends on the rain, the frost, the heat, the soil. Muth does not believe that there will be another generation of spruce trees in his forest: “I’m skeptical about that, it will come from the north.”

By north, Muth doesn’t mean mythical lands from TV series, but Franconia. In the district of Roth, for example, tree death has not only been a problem since the last three hot summers with accompanying droughts. Roth is one of those places that keeps making headlines for breaking heat records. In 2003, for example, it was more than 40 degrees. Even in this rather mild summer there were several heat waves. The last one just a few days ago. “The heat of the last few days is no longer decisive for the war,” says forester Lukas Ullrich. “But rain wouldn’t be bad now.”

The protective covers are not nice, but they keep young trees safe from deer and deer.

(Photo: Thomas Stöppler)

He is in charge of a project near Büchenbach: Here, 20 forest owners have come together with the help of the Forestry Office to reforest their 45 hectares of forest. So far, a pure pine monoculture has grown everywhere there. On average, the trees there are 120 years old, so they are actually ready for harvest long ago. But now they are still standing so that the young ones can grow in their shade: beeches, oaks and, in places where it is a little more humid, firs. Forest owners and foresters planted 144,000 seedlings in winter 2019. It was only two years ago that it was thinned, i.e. felled and removed old trees. Nobody earned anything from the wood, but nobody had to pay extra either. Now, despite higher government funding, such a project would no longer be possible, says Ullrich.

75 kilometers southeast of Roth, near Regenstauf in the Upper Palatinate, Max Hofinger points to fir trees with game bites – a widespread phenomenon in Bavaria’s forests. The numerous deer bite off the shoots, which is why almost nothing comes up without a fence. This applies precisely to those trees that are important for the forest of the future – i.e. firs and beeches. Hofinger is annoyed by this, although he might not really care, because his mini-forest doesn’t look much anyway. “It’s nice here, just useless in terms of forestry,” he explains.

He owns a small strip of forest, a little less than an acre. On average, each forest owner owns two. He doesn’t actually do anything apart from firewood, a little bit of wood chips earlier, but now he would have to pay the forest contractors to collect it. Where the bitten fir trees are, he had a couple of nice spruce trees, he says, a good load of wood would have come out, but it was hit by a storm. The damage was too high. Bitch Lucka sniffs the broken fir tree. She is used to the smell of wild animals, 34 damsel animals live on the farm. They are additional income, Hofinger earns his money as an agricultural engineer. The forest only costs him money.

“The forest as a farmer’s money box – that was once upon a time,” says Hans Erlbacher, one of the forest owners involved in the redevelopment project in Roth. The forest was a money box because the farmers could simply cut more wood if the harvest failed. And the pine and spruce business was booming. Both grow straight and fast. It only takes 80 years for them to be ready for harvest. “I’m turning 50 now,” says Erlbacher, “I won’t have any more of these trees here, but I want there to be a forest here in the future too.” Förster Ullrich adds: “With this project we have the chance to act and not just react.”

Erlbacher still has mountains of wood lying around. The vocational school teacher owns a total of 23 hectares of forest. He does not say how much money he is currently losing, but it is about the size of a smaller new car. Like Muth and Hofinger, he too inherited the forest. He started reforesting in 2008. Snow break had caused clear cutting, now there is a mixed forest. With this piece of forest one could convince the partly skeptical other forest owners.

The 49-year-old is very committed: he collected the nuts of a black walnut in the city park of Roth, nurtured them in the garden and then, when they were out of the woods, planted them in the forest. So far they have also sprouted well in the forest. In contrast to the Douglas fir. He planted 200, 20 survived. The late frost caught them. This is the risk: “We won’t be able to assess whether we’ve done something right for 100 years,” says Förster Ullrich. Black walnuts and co. Are protected by plastic film so that blackberries and other bushes that cover the ground in lighter areas do not overgrow the seedlings and protect them from being bitten.

Hans Erlbacher started to reforest in 2007.

(Photo: Thomas Stöppler)

Muth calls the protective films “military cemeteries”; he prefers to build fences. But they also cost more money. 4000 euros per hectare. He’s lucky, he says, he can put it up himself because his four sons are helping. He works up to 500 hours a year in the forest near Holzkirchen. The temperature rises just a few meters from the fence. It is lighter and the cooling effect of the trees is noticeably reduced immediately. “Everything dogged. Everything.” Frustrated, Muth points to the topless fir trees. He planted them at the same time as the ones inside the fence, but they are smaller. None of them will survive the next few years.

Hofinger shows another small piece of forest in Regenstauf. It belongs to the neighbor who actually lives in Baden-Württemberg. Hofinger’s girlfriend is a forester, so there is more than enough expertise, and yet he tries very little in his forest. It is not worth. At the top of the hill he points to a small area. “The bark beetle left nothing, except for a pine.” Around these pine trees stand ashes and cherries, about the height of a man. Natural rejuvenation. These are the first trees to grow naturally; they have no forestry benefits. “I’d rather not have a forest,” says Hofinger and then corrects himself: “Instead, I’d rather have a little more meadow. I could do more with that.”


Chelsea get point after 0-3 deficit – sport

A late goal saved Chelsea FC from defeat with the two national soccer players Timo Werner and Kai Havertz in the English Premier League. At the newly promoted West Bromwich Albion the Blues came on Saturday thanks to an increase in performance and a goal by Tammy Abraham (90th + 3) to a 3: 3 (0: 3). Werner was again without a goal, Havertz was unlucky after his three goals in the League Cup. Antonio Rüdiger was once again not in the Chelsea squad.

Chelsea quickly took control after the early deficit by Callum Robinson (4th minute), but couldn’t take advantage of the best opportunities, including Werner with a crossbar shot (15th). The hosts, on the other hand, were freezing. Robinson again converted a mistake by Thiago Silva to make it 2-0 (25th). Three minutes later, Kyle Bartley raised. Mason Mount (55th) and Callum Hudson-Odoi (70th) after Havertz Pass made the connection in the second half. Abraham dusted off in stoppage time to equalize.

FC Everton got off to a perfect start with coach Carlo Ancelotti. At Crystal Palace, the team of the former Bayern coach won 2: 1 (2: 1) and is provisionally at the top after their third success in the third match.

First the final whistle, then a penalty goal

Meanwhile, Manchester United averted a bad start – and in a remarkable way. In the away game at Brighton and Hove Albion, the Portuguese Bruno Fernandes scored in the tenth minute of stoppage time with a penalty to make the Red Devils 3-2 (1-1) win. The most curious thing about it wasn’t even the immensely long stoppage time – referee Chris Kavanagh had already ended the game in the 90th + 7th minute, but was then sent to the screen by the video assistant. After a brief review, Kavanagh punished a handball by Brighton’s Neal Maupay with a penalty. ManUnited, which started the season with a 1: 3 home defeat, could still look forward to the first three points of the season.

In a sometimes wild game, the later unlucky Maupay (40.) had brought the underdog into the lead – after video evidence and a foul by Fernandes. After an own goal by Lewis Dunk (43rd), a goal by Marcus Rashford (52nd) was revoked by video evidence. Rashford (55th) met the rules shortly afterwards for the lead, which Solly March (90th) equalized in the actual final minute.

Kroos replaced injured in Real win

Defending champion Real Madrid, with midfield strategist Toni Kroos in the starting line-up, clinched their first win of the season in the Spanish Primera Division. After the goalless draw at Real Sociedad San Sebastian at the start, Los Blancos won 3: 2 (1: 2) at Real Betis Sevilla. Rio world champion Kroos had to be replaced shortly before the break due to muscular problems, captain Sergio Ramos scored the winning goal with a penalty in the 82nd minute.

The record champions from Madrid had taken the lead in the 14th minute through Fede Valverde. With a double strike by Aissa Mandi (35th) and William Carvalho (37th), Betis turned the game before Emerson was unlucky. The defender underwent an own goal (48th), then saw the red card (67th) because of an emergency brake on ex-Frankfurt Luka Jovic.


Knof becomes head of Commerzbank – economy

Deutsche Bank head of private customers Manfred Knof becomes the new CEO at Commerzbank. The 55-year-old will take over the post on January 1st from Martin Zielke, who resigned at the beginning of July, as the Frankfurt-based MDax group announced on Saturday evening after a board meeting. The personnel are still subject to the approval of the supervisory authorities.

The lawyer Knof Knof only came to Deutsche Bank in summer 2019 and is responsible for private customer business in Germany one level below the board of directors. Until 2017 he was CEO of Allianz Deutschland AG. Vice-boss Karl von Rohr will initially take over his post at Deutsche Bank, as a spokeswoman for the largest German financial institution said.

Knof is “an experienced top manager who is strong in implementation and has proven himself in a wide variety of tasks in the financial services industry,” said Commerzbank supervisory board chairman Hans-Jörg Vetter.

The new Commerzbank management is facing tough cuts

With the appointment of Knof, the cousin, who only took over as chief controller of the partially nationalized institute at the beginning of August, arranged for Zielke’s successor surprisingly quickly. After sharp criticism from investors, Zielke announced his resignation at the beginning of July. The bank then decided to terminate the contract with the CEO, who has been in office since the beginning of May 2016, by December 31 at the latest.

Zielke had admitted that the measures decided in autumn 2019 were not decisive enough to make the institute more profitable when interest rates were low. The US fund Cerberus as the institute’s second largest shareholder had accused the Commerzbank management of having “blatantly failed over the years”.

The new Commerzbank management is facing tough cuts: internal discussions about tightening the austerity course have been going on for months. The last 40,000 full-time positions could be cut by up to a quarter. Out of 1000 branches there could be just 200 left where customers can get advice.