Pro-Merger Riesenbeck Quits GfK Chair
Hajo Riesenbeck is to resign from the Supervisory Board Chairmanship and Presidency of GfK Nürnberg e.V. Riesenbeck was closely associated with the TNS bid, while CEO Klaus Wübbenhorst is said to have been more convinced of the firm's ability to grow on its own.
Announcing the decision on Friday, the firm gave 'differing views on the growth course of the GfK Group' as the reason for Riesenbeck's departure, which will be effective from the next Supervisory Board meeting. At this meeting, on 26 September, Riesenbeck will leave both boards, and his successor will be elected.
The statement said the Management Board and Supervisory Board 'thank Mr. Hajo Riesenbeck for his dedicated commitment to the GfK Group.' Neither the firm nor Riesenbeck has given further comment.
On Friday, WPP extended its deadline for TNS shareholders to agree to sell, after securing only 11% of shares by the already once-postponed date. A meeting between TNS' Donald Brydon and WPP CEO Sir Martin Sorrell last week was called to discuss the conditions necessary for TNS to back a future WPP offer: TNS said WPP had 'declined to enter into a dialogue' on the issue but at the weekend Sorrell told the Financial Times that statement 'mischaracterised' the talk, adding 'I gave him our point of view.' Meanwhile Brydon told the FT: 'In a people business, there is a great deal to be said for having a recommendation'.
Web sites: www.gfk.com , www.tnsglobal.com and www.wpp.com .