In 2010, the Supervisory Board of BASF SE exercised its duties required by law and the Statutes with the utmost care. We regularly monitored the management of the Board of Executive Directors and provided advice on the company’s strategic development and important individual measures. To this end, the Supervisory Board requested detailed information from the Board of Executive Directors at six meetings, in the form of written and verbal reports. The topics included: business policies and the business situation as well as the company’s performance, profitability, and planning with regard to finances, capital expenditures and human resources at BASF SE and its major subsidiaries. Deviations of business performance from the planning were also included in the information. The Supervisory Board discussed in detail the reports from the Board of Executive Directors and also discussed prospects for the company as a whole and its individual business areas with the Board of Executive Directors. The Chairman of the Supervisory Board also regularly requested information from the Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors with regard to current business developments and important events outside of Supervisory Board meetings. The Supervisory Board was always involved at an early stage in decisions of major importance. The Supervisory Board discussed and voted on all of those individual measures taken by the Board of Executive Directors, which by law or the Statutes required the approval of the Supervisory Board.
The members of the Supervisory Board elected by shareholders and those elected by the employees prepared for the meetings in separate preliminary discussions. With the exception of two meetings where one of the 12 members was absent, all members were present at all Supervisory Board meetings in 2010.
In all of its meetings, the Supervisory Board discussed the further development of the BASF Group’s business activities through acquisitions, divestitures and investment projects and advised the Board of Executive Directors on these significant questions impacting the future of the company. The major topics of discussion were the acquisition of Cognis and the plan to bring BASF’s worldwide activities in the Styrenics business unit into a joint venture with Ineos. We discussed both of these projects at every Supervisory Board meeting in 2010. Another focus of our monitoring activities was once again the oil and gas business. At the meeting on July 22, 2010, following the sinking of BP’s oil drilling rig Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico, we intensively discussed risk management and risk standards related to oil and gas exploration at Wintershall, which bundles BASF’s oil and gas business. At the meeting on October 21, 2010, we received a comprehensive briefing on the upcoming changes to the German Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) and the German Electricity Tax Act as well as the potential additional impact of these for BASF as a company with energy-intensive production. At the meeting on December 16, 2010, we discussed and approved the Board of Executive Directors’ operative and financial planning for the year 2011. Furthermore, we empowered the Board of Executive Directors to procure financing under certain conditions.
Personnel issues were particularly significant in 2010. At the meeting on May 31, 2010, the Supervisory Board named Dr. Kurt Bock as Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors, effective as of the close of the Annual Meeting on May 6, 2011. He succeeds Dr. Jürgen Hambrecht, who retires from the Board of Executive Directors on this date. The Supervisory Board also named Dr. Martin Brudermüller as Vice Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors, effective May 6, 2011. To ensure the long-term effectiveness of these decisions, it was mutually agreed to shorten the current appointments of Dr. Bock and Dr. Brudermüller, which were set to expire at the Annual Meeting 2012 and Annual Meeting 2013, respectively. These appointments were terminated effective as of the close of the Annual Meeting on May 6, 2011, and the Supervisory Board reappointed these two Board members to new terms as of May 6, 2011, which expire at the close of the Annual Meeting 2016. At the meeting on October 21, 2010, we appointed Margret Suckale and Michael Heinz as members of the Board of Executive Directors, effective as of the close of the Annual Meeting on May 6, 2011, until the Annual Meeting 2014. Ms. Suckale was also named Industrial Relations Director of BASF SE. At the meeting on December 16, 2010, we extended the appointments of Board members Dr. Hans-Ulrich Engel and Dr. Harald Schwager until the Annual Meeting 2016.