filipair wrote:No? You think that Herr Winkelmann has had the BEST intentions for Air Berlin? That his mission every day on the job was to help Air Berlin develop into a thriving, profitable, sustainable airline in the European marketplace?
His mission is to maximize shareholder value in a way consistent with the Board's guidance and ongoing approval, which may be along the lines of "prepare the company for take over by LH and/or others" instead of "help Air Berlin develop into a thriving, profitable, sustainable airline in the European marketplace".
As per lancelot07, "The CEO is appointed by the supervisory board, which in turn is appointed by the AGM of the shareholders.". The board also has supervisory responsibility. They approve whatever business plans the executives make, and it's up to the executives to execute them. If the board feels the best plan to maximize value is to partner with LH, then that's what the executives do. The fact that Winkelmann kept his job after making the leasing deal with LH shows he has board approval.
I've lived through one of these things at a US corporation. A "takeover specialist" CEO was chosen by the board and approved by shareholder vote. Many less desirable assets were sold off at whatever cost they could bring. Budget money was shifted from the remaining longer term projects into a smaller number of quicker projects. The longer term things were still funded well enough so a buyer could see their potential, and the short term things were used to generate a lot of positive press. At the right instant, the deal was closed and the new owner announced. Dozens if not hundreds of executives and managers were given "key man bonuses" with giant lump sum payouts timed to when the transaction closed with agreements to stay on for various periods of time, but shortly after the transaction most of them were pushed aside and allowed to find new jobs while keeping the giant lump sums they were already paid. It all stunk to the high heavens, but it was all done in a way that could not be legally challenged.
This is not the same situation (no insolvency) but the point is that it is not illegal to position a company for takeover or for transfer of key assets IF the board thinks this is the best way to preserve shareholder value.
filipair wrote:I'm sickened to think this is how the supposedly "free market" is supposed to work. I'm sickened that public funds are - with blessings from the EU (aka Germany) - used to facilitate the smooth transition from AB to LH group.
You may want to read the earlier posts about how Germany's "social market economy" differs from a "free market".
However now that the company is insolvent, it is now run by the creditor's committee whose plans are typically subject to court approval.
It'll be interesting to see how the slots get transferred from the insolvent company to LH. I'm sure the proper amount of white wash is being carefully prepared as we speak.