Earlier in the week, Uli Hoeness announced that he would not run for re-election to be Bayern Munich’s president in November. He has been President ever since November 2016, when he was re-elected after coming back from serving prison time for tax evasion. Prior to going to prison in 2014, Hoeness had been Presdient since 2009. Now, Bayern will be looking for a new president, and speaking on Bild am SONNTAG (via Bild+), club CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge respected the personal decision from Hoeness to step down and answered some questions on what the future holds for Bayern’s front office.
There’s been speculation that members of Bayern’s board pressured Hoeness into making the decision to not run for re-election in November, but Rummenigge maintains that it was a personal decision, and a personal decision alone, and should thus be respected that way:
I don’t want to comment. This is exclusively a decision for Uli Hoeneß, and he’d like to share his decision first with responsible groups within FC Bayern. That should be respected.
Former Adidas CEO Herbert Hainer has been rumored to be the front-running candidate to succeed Hoeness. While Rummenigge didn’t want to speculate any further, he did have high praise for the 65-year old, who’s been a member of FC Bayern AG’s supervisory board for many years:
I don’t want to take part in any speculation. I can generally say that I really respect Herbert Hainer. He’s been prepared by many years on the Bayern board and additionally has a lot of experience. His network in the sporting world is without question excellent, seeing how he was also CEO of Adidas for 15 years.
Rummenigge’s contract as CEO of Bayern runs through the end of 2021 and club legend Oliver Kahn will officially join the club’s front office in January 2020 with the idea being that he’ll ultimately take over for Rummenigge. Rummenigge does, however, plan on fulfilling the full length of his contract, and doesn’t have any plans of an earlier-than-anticipated retirement like Hoeness:
That’s not planned. The job‘s fun for me, he’s very interested as well as tied-in to great responsibility.
Passing the proverbial torch(es) down in Bayern’s front office is something all of the board members are all remaining quite relaxed about, despite the significance of such changes:
There’s no reason to not be at ease. Of course there’s going to be a day where I’m no longer Bayern‘s CEO. The day also came that I was no longer a player, and then no longer the president of the European Club Association. I don’t have a problem with that. I have no regrets in my life. At any time, you have to be ready to hand over the job to younger hands. We’ve solved that very well, I believe Oliver Kahn to be a good choice. He has to work himself into the job, because you can’t learn it at a university or automatically do it just because you were a good player. However, Oliver will do this. He makes a good, calming, and rested impression.
Even though it’s already been announced that Kahn will join Bayern’s front office in January of next year, Rummenigge admitted that he has not yet spoken with him, but they plan on doing so very soon to start onboarding Kahn:
No, I don’t have that yet. But we’ll have a conversation soon. We have to determine an “Onboarding Process“ with the board. Oliver should join FC Bayern as a member of the board on January 1st, 2020, in order to become integrated. When he eventually follows after me to become CEO, he needs to be already oriented to the job. We shouldn’t lose any time like that. But I don’t see any problem.
When he finally steps away from Bayern in 2021, Rummenigge said he’s really looking forward to spending a lot of time with his wife and family. Living in Italy for quite some time, he said, has made him very good at living in the present moment and not getting caught up with external worries that he can’t control; something he feels is going to greatly benefit him once he retires:
I have a wonderful family, my wife Martina gives me unbelievable support. Since my time in Italy I’ve adapted to live here and now. I’m not worried that walking my dog a lot will become boring. I’m definitely going to be able to spend lots of time with my family on an island. But I’ll of course continue to intensively follow soccer. This is and will stay my biggest passion.