As of: 06/23/2012 18:47
Michael Odenwald, the head of the Deutsche Bahn supervisory board, terminates his work prematurely. He announced it after the decision to restructure the management board of Deutsche Bahn – and the statements of the transport minister regarding the maintenance backlog in the group.
Deutsche Bahn unexpectedly loses its former chief inspector. Chairman of the Supervisory Board Michael Odenwald announced today his resignation effective July 1. If there is no successor before Odenwald’s departure, his deputy, Klaus-Dieter Hommel, head of the rail and transport union (EVG), will initially assume the position of chairman of the supervisory board.
The 64-year-old lawyer has headed the supervisory body since April 2018 and was appointed until March 2025. He has been a member of the Supervisory Board since 2012. “After ten years on the board, the time has come for a change,” Odenwald said after today’s board meeting, giving no further reasons for his departure.
Having trouble with the press conference?
According to the Spiegel report, Odenwald was said to be upset by the press conference of Bahn chief Richard Lutz and transport minister Volker Wissing. Yesterday, Lutz and Wissing presented a new concept for a thorough renovation of the declining railway network in 2024-2030.
Wissing has criticized that the infrastructure has been “neglected for years and has been pushed to the absolute limit due to under-funding and political failure.” The FDP minister announced that he would monitor the railways more closely and oppose the supervisory board of the federal government’s interests as owner of the railroad – although the federal government is represented there.
The DB Group previously announced the reorganization of Bahn’s management board. Two new members join the board: Evelyn Palla, 49, and Michael Peterson, 51. Palla is the third woman on the eight-person board of Deutsche Bahn. Top management reorganization became necessary after the premature departure of Infrastructure Director Ronald Pofalli. The former CDU politician now works for a real estate firm.
Huber takes over the infrastructure division
From July 1, Pofalla will be replaced by Berthold Huber, former board member for passenger transport. “Mr. Huber has been working for Deutsche Bahn for over 20 years,” said Odenwald’s chairman of the supervisory board.
New board member for infrastructure: Berthold Huber, previously responsible for passenger transport.
Image: alliance image / dpa
As a member of the infrastructure board, the 58-year-old now has to take on the most urgent task in the railway company: the renovation of a dilapidated network of routes. From 2024, the most important corridors are to be renovated, two to three of these sections per year. However, many questions remain open.
Deutsche Bahn is increasingly feeling the effects of network congestion with broken points, outdated signal boxes and many construction sites. Due to the problems, delays are increasing.
Passenger traffic is divided into two areas
Huber’s current area of responsibility for passenger transport will in the future be divided into the regional and long-distance transport department. Evelyn Palla, former CFO of DB Fernverkehr, a subsidiary of DB, will handle regional transport in the future. Former DB boss Michael Peterson takes over responsibility for long-distance traffic on board. The new management team is “younger and more feminine than ever before,” explained Bahn chief Lutz.
Among other things, Palla has to explain how the € 9 ticket will continue. The ticket, which is still available until September, has caused a rush on regional trains. Over 16 million tickets have been sold.