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Why top managers repeatedly stumble over love stories – SonntagsZeitung


This as well. The love story of retired head of Raiffeisen Patrik Gisela with a former member of the group's administrative council triggers an incredible shake of the head in the economy. This is the last anecdote from the series of awkwardness that the ex-head of the third largest Swiss bank has done in recent months. For the first time, Gisel read about his relationship with his fallen stepfather, Pierin Vincenz. Then, much too late, he realized that he was becoming unbalanced because of the scandal around Raiffeisen. And now he is romancing with a former member of the supervisory board. Although Laurence de la Serna resigned from the membership of the Raiffeisen Board of Directors in mid-June. But how long has the agreement lasted, it is not clear. It seems that Gisel placed the cards on the table too late in this matter.

Not only he risks his head and neck out of love. It was not until June that Brian Krzanich, the head of the American chip manufacturer Intel, left the job because he had an affair with a colleague. The same fate met last year's head of Priceline Darren Hustin. In the United States, the lack of dates is more stringent than here. Also in Switzerland, business leaders engage in love stories in their own company.

There are other regulations for business heads

Some are secrets in the company, others are even institutionalized: for example, Pierina Vincenza's wife provided legal services to Raiffeisen. Dominique Biedermann, former president of the investment foundation Ethos, also worked with his wife in the same company. Both were later criticized – rightly so. Although the workplace is one of the most common places, couples get to know each other. In the case of general directors, however, other provisions apply. They are well paid. And they have to put up with limitations: for example, do not get involved in the company's affairs because they lead to a conflict of interest.

Patrik Gisel's case is the most glaring: sitting on the supervisory board is a mortal sin. "Relationships depending on dependence are a departure," says Matthias Mölleney, head of the Center for Human Resources Management and Leadership at the School of Economics in Zurich. Mölleney has accompanied such sensitive cases several times during his career as a manager employing large corporations. He often observes the same pattern of behaviors among managers when they meet with this matter. "First, the relationship is denied and then downplayed. Third, the directors concerned are convinced that they are able to separate their professional role from their private love story and have everything under control." In practice, there is only one solution: one of the two involved pages looking for a job in which there is no subordinate relationship – and quickly.

«The matter is sometimes seen as part of the power»

Because bosses are afraid of such consequences, they usually try to keep the case under cover instead of revealing it immediately, because that would be correct. They often feel supported by a business establishment that discreetly deals with matters. "The closed circle in which the governors move promotes this behavior, sometimes things are seen as part of the power," says Bernhard Bauhofer, an expert in the field of reputation management. In the era of transparency, it is no longer possible to maintain a secret of love.

In addition: Shareholders and the public opinion of the CEO today more morally than before. For example, the percentage of general directors who were dismissed for ethical reasons has increased significantly both in the world and in Europe. This was shown by a survey carried out by consulting giant PWC. For the international management consultant and author Sonja A. Buholzer, it is clear: "If there are no modest humble managers, their personal standards are set for themselves." Therefore, it is only right that companies are increasingly measured by whether or not management is acting honestly. "

(Sunday newspaper)

Created: 10/11/2018, 21:26

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