At Lufthansa, the shareholders will be left empty-handed for 2022. Despite some strong criticism, the plans were finally approved by the board of directors and the supervisory board at the general meeting.
Shareholders accompanied the Lufthansa Annual General Meeting with clear criticism. The board of directors around Carsten Spohr and the supervisory board were each discharged with 97.7 percent and received large majorities for the plans presented, which include a new remuneration system.
Among other things, several shareholders were concerned that the meeting was again held virtually on the Internet instead of in person and that this will also be possible in the coming years. Previously, the fund companies of the savings banks and cooperative banks had criticized the strategic course of the management. In his previously published speech, CEO Spohr had promoted the intended entry into the Italian state airline Ita.
Lufthansa is like a “general store,” said Ingo Speich from Deka. Management must be careful not to lose control. Henrik Pontzen from Union Investment completely questioned the planned entry into Ita. He said: “We cannot imagine how an Ita or even another potential takeover candidate from Portugal can be successfully integrated. Let alone how synergy effects are to be achieved.”
Arne Karstens from the Vereinigung Cockpit pilots’ union announced that he would vote against the planned increase in board remuneration, which clearly corresponds to Dax standards, even though Lufthansa is only listed in the middle MDax stock market segment. At the same time, employees would have to deal with a loss of purchasing power. The trade unionist warned that if the social partnership eroded, the foundations of the services would also be endangered. Several speakers criticized the renewed audit mandate for the auditing company EY, which is accused of massive misconduct in the Wirecard scandal.
Potentially more money for the board
The agreed remuneration system provides for a maximum salary of EUR 11 million for the CEO for 2023 (2022: EUR 9.5 million), the new upper limit for prominent members of the Board of Management should now be EUR 6.5 million (2022: EUR 5 million). According to the remuneration report, Spohr has received a target total remuneration of 4.9 million euros for 2022. 2.6 million euros were mentioned for ordinary board members. The members of the supervisory board are also to receive more money from the current year.
At the head of the supervisory board, the previous chairman Karl-Ludwig Kley successfully stood for re-election. In addition, manager Karl Gernandt, a confidante of the largest single shareholder Klaus-Michael Kühne, moved into the supervisory body. As in the three previous years, the shareholders did not receive a dividend for 2022 either. This is only to change in the current financial year.