Michael Frenzel (Manager)

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Michael Frenzel, 2014.

Michael Frenzel (born March 2, 1947 in Leipzig ) is a German manager and former local politician ( SPD ). From 1994 to February 2013 he was CEO of Preussag AG and TUI AG. In November 2000 he was named Manager of the Year 2000 in Germany by Manager Magazin . Frenzel has been the founding president of the Economic Forum of the SPD e. V.



Michael Frenzel was born in Leipzig in 1947 as the son of a master shoemaker. His father owned a small shoe factory there. Due to the shortage of materials in the GDR , his family moved to the West in 1955, where, after a year in various cities, they finally found accommodation with relatives in Duisburg . Frenzel first attended elementary school there, but after eighth grade switched to the advanced high school, which he graduated from high school in 1966.

In 1967 Frenzel signed up for two years as a contract soldier and reserve officer candidate in the Bundeswehr (last rank: first lieutenant of the reserve). He then studied law at the Ruhr University in Bochum . At the same time he was involved in local politics in Duisburg. He became chairman of the planning committee and later deputy parliamentary group leader of the Duisburg SPD .

Frenzel finished his studies in 1974 with the first state examination. He worked as a research assistant until 1977 before he received his doctorate in 1978 “summa cum laude”. In 1980 the second state examination followed.

He then completed a trainee training course at the savings bank organization from 1980 to 1981 . There he was noticed by the head of the Westdeutsche Landesbank (WestLB) , Friedel Neuber , who made him his office manager. In 1985 Frenzel took over the management of WestLB's investment division.

Preussag / TUI

In 1988 Frenzel was appointed to the board of the “Preussische Bergwerks- und Hütten-AG” (Preussag AG) in Hanover , in which WestLB held a 34% stake at the time. There he headed the trade, logistics and transport department, and then also shipping. From 1994 he was CEO .

With the sale of Salzgitter AG and the takeover of the shipping and logistics group Hapag-Lloyd , Frenzel initiated the transformation of Preussag AG from a conglomerate into a service company in the leisure industry in 1997 . With the purchase of the British Thomson Travel Group in 2000, Preussag AG became the world's largest tourism group. In the same year Frenzel was named Manager of the Year by Manager Magazin. In 2005 the Canadian shipping company CP Ships was taken over.

In 2002 the group was renamed from Preussag AG to TUI AG. Frenzel's reorganization of the former Preussag AG into TUI AG was not only well received. In its 2006 Black Book Exchange, the Protection Association of Investors described the renovation as "one of the greatest value destruction campaigns in German corporate history". The takeover of CP Ships was "completely overpriced" and the profitability of the entire group had deteriorated. The debts have risen "immeasurably".

The group rarely achieved its profit targets and under Frenzel repeatedly failed to meet the expectations of investors. The market capitalization of the subsidiary Salzgitter AG, which was spun off by Frenzel, has clearly left that of TUI behind.

Supervisory board mandates

Frenzel was a member of the Supervisory Board of Nord / LB until December 11, 2009 and from June 2001 to April 2012 he was a member of the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen AG .

In July 2018, he stepped down from the Supervisory Board of Deutsche Bahn AG . As a reason for his resignation, he stated that the company was increasingly being taken over by politics. Company representatives on the supervisory board would be pressured to make their place free for further government representatives. As the owner, the federal government has the right to determine the composition of the committee, but the federal government may not run the company in the form of a stock corporation, where entrepreneurial responsibility lies solely with the management board and the supervisory board. In the coalition agreement between the CDU, CSU and SPD, the claim to run DB based solely on entrepreneurial principles is no longer formulated. There is a risk that the company is heading towards the old state railway. A long-term entrepreneurial perspective, beyond politics, is required.

Political positions

Frenzel advocates spelling social justice "above all as performance-based justice [...] and not as a policy of redistribution".


Frenzel lives in the Burgdorf district of Ehlershausen , is married and has three children.

Individual evidence

  1. spd-wirtschaftsforum.de ; accessed on May 26, 2016
  2. Martin Greive & Daniel Friedrich Sturm: The new comrade of the bosses in the SPD , report on Welt.de from April 25, 2016; accessed on May 26, 2016
  3. ^ Black Book Exchange: The Biggest Sinner, Manager Magazin, February 6, 2007 ( Memento of April 2, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  4. New TUI investor calls for the management board to be replaced, Spiegel-Online, September 28, 2007
  5. Ex-supervisory board warns of political grip on Deutsche Bahn spiegel.de, July 13, 2018.
  6. ^ "On the way to the old state railway" . In: Der Spiegel . No. 29 , 2018, p. 58 ( online ).
  7. FAZ No. 237, October 12, 2017, p. 20.