Mayrhuber back in running for Lufthansa supervisory board

Mon May 6, 2013 4:21pm EDT
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By Marilyn Gerlach

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Former Lufthansa (LHAG.DE: Quote) Chief Executive Wolfgang Mayrhuber is back in the running to become supervisory board chairman of Germany's biggest airline after overcoming shareholder opposition to his candidacy.

Lufthansa said late on Monday the supervisory board reiterated its nomination for Mayrhuber to become a supervisory board member after key investors said they would vote for him.

If all goes according to plan, shareholders will hold their annual meeting on Tuesday to elect him as a board member. The supervisory board will then vote him its chairman later that same day.

Lufthansa said the earlier opposition by shareholders was "caused by voting recommendations that are unsuited to Germany's two-tier corporate governance system." In Germany, a supervisory board - whose members have non-executive functions - controls a separate management board.

Earlier on Lufthansa said Mayrhuber had withdrawn as candidate to become a board member amid signs of shareholder opposition.

The announcement came after daily newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung said proxy advisory firm ISS had recommended that shareholders vote against Mayrhuber because he held too many supervisory board positions.

He is chairman of the supervisory board at German chipmaker Infineon (IFXGn.DE: Quote) and a board member at reinsurer Munich Re (MUVGn.DE: Quote) and luxury carmaker BMW (BMWG.DE: Quote).

A spokeswoman for ISS declined comment. The ISS website said its policy was to recommend against a candidate who holds an excessive number of board appointments.   Continued...

The tails of German air carrier Lufthansa aircraft are seen at Fraport airport in Frankfurt May 6, 2013. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner