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A CFO’s Bad Movie: At Least It Was Short

Infineon Technologies sacks Rudiger Gunther after 3 months, reportedly over an "authoritarian style," and renames the retired chief he succeeded.
Stephen TaubAugust 7, 2007

Infineon Technologies, Europe’s second-largest semiconductor maker, fired its finance chief after just three months on the job.

The company said it “released” Rudiger A. Gunther, its CFO and labor director, citing “irreconcilable differences.” He had been appointed to its board in April, and became both CFO and labor director in May 2007.

Gunther had succeeded Peter J. Fischl, who retired from both positions in May. The company said that it has asked Fischl to assume the two positions on an interim basis.

According to Bloomberg News, Infineon’s supervisory board asked Gunther to step down after a dispute, and he refused to resign, citing two people with direct knowledge of the talks.

The wire service added that Financial Times Deutschland had earlier reported that the board wanted him to resign because of an “authoritarian” management style and a lack of industry expertise.

“It was obvious that the CFO would have to leave after the statements we’ve read in the press over the last week,” Malte Schaumann, an analyst at SES Research in Hamburg, told Bloomberg. “Fischl has a good reputation and knows the company very well. That’s a good solution.”

Said Gunther, quoted in what Bloomberg described as a brief telephone interview: “I feel like I’m in a bad movie.” The wire service said he declined to comment on the disagreement with the company.

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