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Bayern FC Seek Replacement For Current President Uli Hoeness
09 September 2019
Football fans have now had official verification of recent rumours, confirming what the smart online betting had already predicted: Uli Hoeness has informed Bayern Munich’s Supervisory Board that he has decided not to seek re-election as President.
Bayern’s golden age
Having been elected club president for the first time in 2009, former German international Uli Hoeness has presided over FC Bayern’s most productive twenty-first century years. Under his guidance, Die Roten have secured an amazing collection of forty-four major trophies. These include two Champions League trophies, as well as twenty-four Bundesliga titles and no less than fourteen DFB-Pokals. As he takes his leave, Hoeness can reflect upon an era which has seen FC Bayern transformed into a true European footballing powerhouse. And thanks to the pervasive influence of this committed 67 year old, the club has enjoyed a period of financial stability alongside its continued success in the Allianz Arena.
Despite relinquishing his presidential role, Hoeness will nevertheless continue to have a presence at Bayern’s soccer division (Bayern München AG). According to his current plans, after November’s general assembly Hoeness will remain on the board until at least 2023. Both present vice presidents, Walter Mennekes and Dr. Dieter Mayer, have also expressed their willingness to stand again as candidates for their current posts.
In a move which was widely anticipated, Hoeness also put forward a recommendation that Herbert Hainer, the former Adidas CEO, be nominated as his successor to the club presidency. The board duly agreed to nominate Hainer for the post, and the club membership will be asked to vote for a new president at the forthcoming annual general assembly scheduled for November. It is too early to say whether Hainer will stand unopposed as the sole candidate for the office.
Who is Herbert Hainer?
Currently aged 65, Herbert Hainer is just two years younger than Uli Hoeness, and the pair have a number of things in common. For instance, they are both butcher’s sons and each lent a hand in their family business from a very young age. In addition, each has worked hard to achieve their present station in life and, driven on by a combination of skill and tremendous ambition, both men became successful leaders of multinational sports brands. Hainer and Hoeness are also known to be men whose word is their bond, a handshake is sufficient to seal a pact with all the validity of the strongest written agreement. The two have been acquainted for more than 20 years and thus have become the closest of friends.
Turning out as a striker for FC Dingolfing in his youth, Herbert Hainer played in the sixth-tier national league and has always been a committed football enthusiast. His brother Walter was selected to play for 1860 Munich, and Hainer himself would have loved to be a professional footballer. But after studying business administration, he first joined US consumer giants Proctor & Gamble in 1979. Then later in 1987, he secured a position at sports firm Adidas, initially responsible for sports hardware such as bags, rackets and balls. From that time on, he worked his way up through the company, becoming a member of the Executive Board in 1997 before being appointed group CEO in 2001.
By the time he finally handed the reins over to Kasper Rorsted on October 1, 2016, Hainer’s fifteen-year stint had made him the longest-serving boss of any company listed in the German Dax index. During his tenure, company turnover tripled, profits quintupled, and the corporate stock-market value increased tenfold. Under his leadership thousands of jobs were created, a fact much appreciated by the thousands of Adidas employees who gave him a standing ovation at the celebrity football match arranged in his honour when he finally left the company.
Since bowing out of his Adidas post, Hainer has occupied himself with a number of supervisory board roles, which included working with Lufthansa and Allianz. Other than that, he has spent time travelling the world with his wife and helping out his daughter who keeps horses. And whenever he’s in Germany, he can be found sitting in the stands watching Bayern, mostly accompanied by Uli Hoeness.
According to Edmund Stoiber, Bavaria’s former Minister President, Hoeness’ decision to step down may have been partly influenced by recent tensions between him and club CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. It appears there had been a period of intense debate between the two men about the coach, Niko Kovac. Hoeness had backed Kovac when Bayern were going through a tough patch during the first half of the 2018/2019 season. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, for his part, had remained very sceptical of the Croatian’s abilities until Kovac delivered FC Bayern a domestic double in 2019.
In a sense, the club framework has played a part in such quarrels, with Hoeness acting as president of Bayern München e.V., the registered club which serves as the corporate entity representing the various Bayern Munich teams beneath it, from the football team right through to the chess team. Nevertheless, at least in theory, it’s Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, as CEO of Bayern München AG, the footballing part of the organisation, who has the say in everything soccer-related. For practical purposes, any input from Uli Hoeness should thus be in a secondary capacity, but in reality, FC Bayern has had two influential bosses who have not always been in agreement. Once Hoeness leaves, observers will be keeping a close eye on the relationship between Rummenigge and Kovac.