Report by the Supervisory Board
Before I inform you about the work of the Supervisory Board and its committees in fiscal year 2022 / 2023 I would like to take a brief look back at this year as a whole and the diverse range of topics to which we devoted our time and attention. The year was once again overshadowed by geopolitical crises and uncertainties. Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine is continuing and its future course is uncertain. The relationship between the democratic, industrialized countries and autocratic states is changing and is a matter of intense concern for politicians and companies. In October this year, the situation in the Middle East flared up again as a consequence of the terrorist attack by Hamas. We were relieved that Covid has now basically passed or at any rate has become relatively manageable. However, the various crises in the world are a cause of considerable concern and require great vigilance. At the end of 2022, one threat – cybercrime – became a concrete experience rather than an abstract scenario for us at thyssenkrupp. The company’s IT infrastructure was the direct target of an attack. The attackers were detected and isolated in time, preventing considerable damage to the company and its employees. However, it showed how alert we need to be and how serious the threat is.
One issue at the top of the agenda for politicians, industry and society is the fight against climate change. That has special dimensions for our company. A key milestone for us and for the achievement of the climate targets in Germany and Europe was the EU Commission’s approval for the German government and the state of North Rhine-Westphalia to provide funding of around €2 billion for the construction of thyssenkrupp Steel’s first direct reduction plant in Duisburg. Other elements in the transformation of thyssenkrupp are the successful IPO of our hydrogen subsidiary thyssenkrupp nucera in a challenging capital market environment and the establishment of our new Decarbon Technologies segment, which the company prepared in the fourth quarter and implemented at the start of the new fiscal year. This brings our competencies and the potential of our portfolio into our focus and draws them to the attention of prospective customers around the world. Our technologies and solutions can make a substantial contribution to the decarbonization of the world.
I would specifically like to draw attention to various personnel matters relating to the Executive Board of thyssenkrupp AG. In November 2022, the Supervisory Board extended the appointment of CHRO Oliver Burkhard, who has been a member of the Executive Board and Labor Director of thyssenkrupp AG since 2013, by a further five years to the end of September 2028. He is doing an excellent job in difficult times and has also been setting a clear direction as CEO of thyssenkrupp Marine Systems since May 2022.
At the end of April Martina Merz requested talks on early termination of her service contract and left the company by mutual agreement on May 31, 2023. We secured the services of Miguel Ángel López Borrego to succeed her as CEO of thyssenkrupp AG with effect from June 1, 2023. On behalf of the Supervisory Board, I would like to extend our sincere thanks to Martina Merz for her tremendous commitment to thyssenkrupp in a period that was exceptionally challenging for the global economy, for our country and above all for our company. She instigated the necessary restructuring of thyssenkrupp in a decisive phase for the company with great circumspection and strategic rationale. Mr. López has taken up the change process that has been initiated and is consistently driving it forward. At its heart is the logical alignment of the businesses to future viability.
Furthermore, Dr. Klaus Keysberg has decided not to renew his contract when it ends on July 31, 2024. He has served the thyssenkrupp group in various senior management positions for nearly 28 years and has been a member of the Executive Board of thyssenkrupp AG and CFO since October 2019. I would like to thank Dr. Klaus Keysberg for his long commitment to the company in a wide range of roles and especially for his work on the Executive Board in the past four years. During this time he supported the extensive change process at the company with wisdom and great circumspection and made a key contribution to the progress that has been made in the transformation of thyssenkrupp.
Source: thyssenkrupp Annual Report 2022/23