NEWS1 March 2016

GfK seeks damages from former CEO and CFO

Europe Legal News

GERMANY – GfK has started civil proceedings against former CEO Dr.Klaus Wübbenhorst and former CFO Christian Weller von Ahlefeld, in the district court Nürnberg-Fürth. 

Klaus Wübbenhorst_crop

The market research group said it was seeking to recover damages over tax irregularities in Turkey which the company first announced in January 2013. Out of court negotiations are being conducted in parallel to the ongoing legal proceedings.

The investigation, which is being conducted with external, independent experts in Turkey and Germany, was initiated by the current management board at the end of 2012.

GfK believes the defendants breached their supervisory duties due to insufficient oversight. During the time period in which the violations occurred and GfK subsequently incurred the damages, Wübbenhorst (pictured) was the board member responsible for Turkey and the chairman of the management board of GfK Turkey. Weller von Ahlefeld was the management board member responsible for financial and control systems during that same time period.

The company said this has no impact on GfK’s Turkish operations. Clients have not been affected by the tax irregularities, as they were related to the organisational setup, not the client-facing side of the business.