[OPE] It's tough at the top and at the bottom, in Germany

From: Jurriaan Bendien <adsl675281@telfort.nl>
Date: Sun Sep 20 2009 - 15:05:13 EDT

Half of Germany's Top Managers Given the Boot

It's tough at the top and a new study shows just how precarious it can be in
the upper echelons of corporate Germany. Since 2006, one in two board
members at companies listed on Germany's blue-chip DAX index have been
fired. And once you are out, there is no going back. It seems attaining the
privileged position of member of the board at one at the top listed German
companies may be but a fleeting pleasure. A new study has found that over
half of all managers who served on company boards of the DAX list of
Germany's 30 blue chip companies have lost their positions over the past
three and half years. The vagaries of life at the top of the corporate
ladder are laid bare in the study by the management consultancy firm
Heidrick & Struggles, http://www.heidrick.com/default.aspx the German daily
Die Welt reported on Friday.

Of the 192 members of the boards serving in the 30 companies at the
beginning of 2006, 98 have since been let go. And once pushed out there was
little chance of climbing back up that greasy pole, with only one single
board member managing to get a similar position at another DAX listed firm.
However, the report found that the cream of the crop, the chairs of the
board, were far more likely to hold on to their plush leather seats in the
boardroom. Of the 30 current chairpersons, 16 were already in their
positions back at the start of 2006.

A total of 1 million people get help every day from Germany's "Deutsche
Tafel" food banks -- and that number is set to increase because of the
recession. The organization's head, Gerd Häuser, talks to SPIEGEL ONLINE
about Germany's new poverty and the dangers of social unrest. SPIEGEL
ONLINE: Mr. Häuser, you know what poverty looks like in Germany. Does the
worsening economic crisis make you feel afraid? Gerd Häuser: I wouldn't say
I'm afraid, but I've become unsure. Economic trends can no longer be
predicted, the forecasts are no longer reliable. Only one thing is clear:
The number of unemployed will rise significantly -- and with it the number
of people who need our assistance. SPIEGEL ONLINE: Are you seeing that
already? Häuser: Not yet. There is a time lag in the visible effects of the
crisis. The social systems kick in first of all. But in the long term, the
number of people receiving Hartz IV (ed's note: welfare payments for the
long-term unemployed, regarded by critics as insufficient to live on) will
rise -- and they can hardly live on the money they receive. Already, 1
million people come to us every day, which amounts to about one-seventh of
welfare recipients in Germany.

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Received on Sun Sep 20 15:08:55 2009

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