Deutsche Bank Board Gathers
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) _ The supervisory board of Deutsche Bank, Germany’s biggest, meets Wednesday amid widespread reports it will discuss a top-level reorganization that may strengthen the powers of its new chief executive.
Officials at Deutsche Bank declined to comment, but news reports have said the bank is planning to create a new executive committee led by incoming chief executive Josef Ackermann _ marking a departure from German management tradition.
The plan has already stirred discontent, with board members complaining they have been left in the dark in the run-up to the meeting while reading extensive articles about it.
A new executive committee of division heads would enable Ackermann to take tighter control as the bank’s struggles to cut costs in a sluggish economy. Ackermann is to take over the top job in May, succeeding Rolf Breuer, who will become the head of the supervisory board.
German corporations spread power among the members of a management board, which runs day-to-day affairs, and a supervisory board, which names top managers and holds responsibility for general oversight.
A new, seven-member executive committee would result in the powers of Deutsche Bank’s five-member management board being reduced, news reports have said.
German media have criticized the plan for concentrating power in the hands of the chief executive along U.S. lines. ``An authentic chief executive would completely change the corporate charter in Germany,″ the Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper commented.
The bank also is reportedly considering moving all or part of its headquarters to London from Frankfurt, an idea that has encountered employee criticism that costs would be higher there.
Deutsche Bank, like other big German banks, has struggled with high costs, up-and-down financial markets, and a slowdown in new stock offerings. It has announced plans to lay off some 9,200 of its 97,000 employees.
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