BMW board member Klaus Draeger retires early

Isn't it a pure waste of management potential if the supervisory board sends a board of directors, still 59 years old, into retirement “when the age limit is reached”? Isn't it time to think about the meaning of the regulation at BMW, that managers have to abdicate at the age of 60 and be pulled out of the work process? What a waste of experience, knowledge and energy! The opposite of efficiency. Especially since managers who have left BMW enjoy their work (not making money out of necessity!) Not infrequently with the competition.

For mathematical reasons, the government is raising the retirement age to 67 years and at some point even higher, and a dynamic, well-earning successful company is sending its top people home at an almost youthful age. In contrast to the pension problem, that fewer and fewer contributors have to finance more and more pensioners, the opposite is true for a profitable company: Here, intellectual potential is only exchanged for younger ones because it was decided once. At a time when it was believed that youthfulness can bring more movement into the company and a 60-year-old was actually perceived as older. Today there are 60-year-olds who are both physically and mentally innovative, superior to some 40-year-olds or at least easily able to hold their own.

The irony of history: the man under whose aegis this early retirement rule was introduced at BMW was the first to ignore it: the legendarily successful Eberhard von Kuenheim. He was almost 63 when he retired - and would have loved to hang on to it for a few more years.

Why don't you trust gray managers on the top steps of the corporate ladder to be able to do a good job after their 60th birthday? Why not rely on longer continuity in management? The employees have to adjust to the new leadership and management philosophy of the new person at the top every time. This also absorbs energy unnecessarily.

The new member of the BMW board: Head of Purchasing Markus Duesmann Photos: BMW

The new member of the BMW board: Head of Purchasing Markus Duesmann Photos: BMW

This early retirement system turns every successor into an interim solution. At 47, the new purchasing director Markus Duesmann has thirteen years ahead of him to make a difference. On the other hand, that's a long time. But it could, no should last at least three years longer. The mechanical engineer, by the way, joined the former BMW Sauber Formula 2007 team in 1 as head of the drive unit. After that he was head of the driving dynamics department and most recently responsible for the entire topic of drive in the company's development department.

By the way: In other cultures and countries, you rely on the wisdom and experience of older people. In the United States, a 68-year-old Hillary Clinton wants to replace Angela Merkel as the most powerful woman in the world. Her opponent Donald Trump is already 70. To retire Merkel, at least 60, would be one of my wishes to deny Trump's 70-year-old wisdom the other. And abolishing the age limit of 60 years at BMW is actually a sociopolitical necessity.


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