DHL Core Values under threat!

Two news stories from yesterday…

  • One is a BBC article on tax evasion at the highest level in Europe here. (allegedly) Zumwinkel has (apparently) not volunteered enough tax to the tune of 1m Euros.  If so, it’s a case of “Do as I say, not do as I do!”
  • The other is DPWN / DHL corporate News from Germany below.  Apparently he resigned and wasn’t pushed.
Statement of the Supervisory Board of Deutsche Post AG
Jürgen Weber, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, and Frank Appel
Jürgen Weber, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, and Frank Appel

At its meeting in Bonn today, the Supervisory Board of Deutsche Post AG accepted the decision of Klaus Zumwinkel (64) to resign from his office as Chief Executive Officer of Deutsche Post AG.  Jürgen Weber, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, congratulates Frank Appel

The Supervisory Board expresses its thanks to Klaus Zumwinkel for the successful entrepreneurial leadership in the past 18 years and for his outstanding achievements in creating the world’s leading logistics group.

The Supervisory Board unanimously appointed Frank Appel (46) as Chief Executive Officer of Deutsche Post AG, taking effect immediately. His contract runs until October 31, 2012.

Appel has been a member of the Board of Management since 2002 and is in charge of the Corporate Division LOGISTICS, for MAIL International, for regulation management as well as the cross-divisional responsibility for the Group’s 100 largest customers (Global Customer Solutions).

The Supervisory Board also agreed to extend the contract of Chief Financial Officer John Allan (59) by two years until the end of 2010.

I’d just like to re-iterate the 7 Key Values that all employees are supposed to abide by, which are based on a good way to live,  and with which I agree,  and can be found here but I’ve repeated below:

Our Values

I. To deliver excellent quality

  • Our core business is to deliver excellent service – for any product, at any time, at any place.
  • We provide worldwide door-to-door services (“old integrator”) as well as comprehensive solutions (“new integrator”).
  • We improve our services based upon the demands of our customers in our national and international markets.
  • We continuously challenge and improve our structures and production processes.

II. To make our customers successful

  • Customer satisfaction is the No. 1 factor of our Group’s success.
  • Our customers’ success is our success. We strive to establish long-term business partnerships with our customers. These partnerships will result in long-term success for both sides.
  • We have the best possible knowledge of customers, markets and competitors, and are therefore the trend-setters in the market.
  • Our activities are governed by our knowledge of the global and local requirements of our customers and markets.

III. To foster openness

  • We think globally, act locally and respect different cultural values in the countries where we operate.
  • Transparency helps us promote integration and, in turn, the success of the Group.
  • We make decisions based on facts and analyses. To do so, we use the combined knowledge of our Group in all our locations and units, and the expertise of all our employees at all times.
  • We learn from successes and failures, from internal and external best practices, from every single employee.

IV. To act according to clear priorities

  • Clear priorities shape our actions:
    • 1. The success of our customers.
    • 2. The success of our Group.
    • 3. The success of each organizational unit and the success of each individual.
  • To act in accordance with these clear priorities requires outstanding cooperation among all parties, internally as well as externally.

V. To act in an entrepreneurial way

  • Entrepreneurial conduct constitutes the spirit of our Group. We demand and promote individual responsibility.
  • Excellent people are the key to our success. We welcome motivated and loyal employees who strive for top performance. One of our core responsibilities is to recruit, develop and retain such employees in the long term.
  • We require our executives to be top achievers who act as role models both in their professional and personal conduct.
  • We recognize and reward individual performance and economic success in line with local best practice standards.

VI. To act with integrity internally and externally

  • Integrity determines the way we work within the Group as well as our conduct toward our business partners, shareholders and the general public.
  • Each employee has the opportunity for personal development according to individual performance – regardless of gender, religion or culture. We do not tolerate any form of discrimination.
  • Each executive respects each employee’s personal dignity and personality, and is responsible for creating an atmosphere of mutual trust within the team.
  • Executives delegate tasks effectively. But, they remain responsible for the results.

VII. To accept social responsibilities

  • We are committed to goals that generate benefits for the communities where we work.
  • We respect the traditions, structures and values of the countries where we operate.
  • The protection of our environment is part of our corporate strategy.
  • We promote our employees’ social commitment.

I’d also like to point out the Code of Conduct, which Mr Zumwinkel, apart from forgetting little national laws that everyone has to abide to, has also conveniently forgotten (allegedly).   I’m pretty certain that the new team have taken onboard the 7 core values and the code of conduct both in their intent and in their meaning.  The world is always in a state of flux, but there’s a refreshing open-ness from the top that was lacking before.  This is not to say that I agree with the project-based way of working with endless form-filling up and down the middle management chain with everyone chucking in their half-pence worth.  I find this method very awkward, but I guess it’s necessary in an organisation this big.  My normal work is chunk-based, where I take on and do the whole thing myself, finally presenting the product, on-time, usually to a jaw-dropped audience.  But that’s because I’m very good at what I do! (see the ‘About’ page on this website)

Code of Conduct

What is Correct Conduct?

Deutsche Post World Net deals with a variety of people and organizations who are our stakeholders. Our image as a company depends on how employees conduct themselves in the business world. There is no substitute for personal integrity and sound judgment. When faced with a difficult situation, our employees should consider these questions:

1. Is my action or decision legal?
2. Does it comply with our values and our policies?
3. Is it right and free of any personal conflicts of interest?
4. Could my action or decision withstand public review? What would it look like in a newspaper?
5. Will my action or decision protect Deutsche Post World Net’s reputation as a company with high ethical standards?

If the answer to each question is “yes”, the action or decision based on the following principles of conduct is most likely the correct one.

Our Ethical Commitment.

Quality Focus
Our commitment to quality is core to our business. In order to achieve the highest quality standards, we will work constantly to improve our structures and processes for the benefit of our customers. This applies to our products, services and management, but also to our behaviour.

Customer Satisfaction
We place the highest priority on making our customers successful, knowing that customer success guarantees our own success. Our activities are governed by our knowledge of the global and local requirements of our customers and markets.

We include and prioritize the customer focus in all our business processes, projects and dealings. We know that we will be measured by our ethical, social and environmental performance as much as by the quality of our service. We therefore strive for best practice in all these areas to secure customer trust.

Laws and Ethical Standards
Guided by our Corporate Values, we strive for sustainable development of our business founded on the three pillars: economic performance, environmental stewardship and social responsibility.

We will honour the diverse interests of our customers, employees and business partners with integrity, fairness and honesty. We strive for excellence in both our business performance and our ethical behaviour. Deutsche Post World Net complies with laws applicable to its business in all regions and countries.

We recognize that laws vary with respect to ethical standards within and across the countries in which we work. This may pose particular challenges and dilemmas, which we strive to overcome by adherence to our Corporate Values. Deutsche Post World Net will be guided by the principles of the United Nations’ Global Compact. We respect human rights within our sphere of influence and conduct our business in a manner that makes us an employer of choice.

We respect the principles of the 1998 International Labor Organization’s “Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work” in accordance with national law and practice.

We are committed to openness in our dealings with our stakeholders. Transparency and honesty shall be the guiding principles in all our communication activities, internally and externally. The public will have access to information concerning our company, in line with what is required or recommended by internationally recognized standards of corporate governance.

Accounting and Reporting Standards
Deutsche Post World Net relies on the authenticity and accuracy of information recorded in its accounting records for proper decision making. It is of the utmost importance that records dealing with security and personnel, as well as booking and financial data are protected. All business transactions must be reflected accurately in our accounts in accordance with established procedures and auditing standards. Accounting records will reflect and describe the nature of the underlying transactions.

Money Laundering
Deutsche Post World Net complies strictly with laws and regulations designed to combat money laundering activity. This includes those rules and regulations requiring reporting of currency transactions with blocked persons.

Our Standard of Working Together.

Individual Responsibility and Involvement
The skills and the commitment of our people are our greatest asset. We expect our employees to conduct their business in an entrepreneurial way and accept their individual responsibility. We strive to involve our colleagues in our projects and decision-making processes in order to achieve our common goals with reliability and commitment.

Mutual Respect and Openness
All relations between directors, managers and employees of all levels, units and regions shall be guided by mutual respect, openness, honesty and the spirit of trust and cooperation. We give and look for feedback and we communicate actively and openly with each other. We are committed to a fair and open debate and seek varying opinions.We motivate our colleagues to speak up promptly and to express their ideas and concerns. Team spirit is triggered by open-mindedness.We therefore support an open door policy and initiatives to share and exchange knowledge.

Diversity and Discrimination
We see employee diversity as a guiding principle in our employment policy. This means promoting the diversity and heterogeneity of the individuals in the company in order to attain the highest possible productivity, creativity and efficiency. Skills, performance and ethical conduct shall be our only indicators for employee qualification. We will not discriminate or tolerate discrimination with respect to gender, race, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, national origin or any other characteristic protected under law. Each employee is required to contribute to an environment of respect that precludes any kind of harassment, including workplace bullying, unwelcome sexual advances, unwanted physical contact, propositions or a working environment poisoned with harassing jokes, words and demeaning comments.

Health Management
Our employees deserve to work in a safe and healthy environment.We are therefore committed to the workplace health and safety regulations expressed in our health and safety policies. We strive to foster the physical and psychological “well being” of our employees. Our goals are both fewer illnesses and a lower accident rate. We promote health care as a key element of our sustained productivity and the quality of our services. Our health and safety policies, active in all locations throughout the world, include a ban of illegal drugs in the workplace. We prohibit any kind of violence and assault at the workplace, including threatening and intimidating behavior.

Company Property
The use of company property, including labor, supplies, equipment, buildings or other assets for personal benefit is prohibited where not explicitly allowed by agreement. Each employee has a responsibility to safeguard and make proper use of Deutsche Post World Net property. Intellectual property is a valuable asset and must be protected from unauthorized use or disclosure. Such property includes trade secrets, confidential information, copyrights, trademarks, logos, but also customer lists, business opportunities and product specifications, whether owned by Deutsche Post World Net-affiliated companies or business partners.

Legal Proceedings
Employees must avoid activities that could involve or lead to involvement of Deutsche Post World Net or its personnel in any unlawful practice, including the employment of our personnel or use of company assets for illegal gain. Lawsuits, legal proceedings and investigations concerning Deutsche Post World Net must be handled quickly and properly in order to protect and defend the company. Employees who are threatened by a lawsuit or other legal proceedings or investigation in a business-related matter are required to contact their Deutsche Post World Net Legal Department immediately.

Insider Information
Any person with inside information is prohibited by law to buy or sell Deutsche Post World Net stock by using this information. Employees are at risk of civil and criminal penalties should they disclose nonpublic information that an investor could use to buy or sell securities. Trading with such information is illegal whether employees trade for their own benefit or others trade for them.

Our Business Integrity.

Shareholders’ Trust
We recognize the necessity of sound and transparent corporate management to maintain the trust of our shareholders and investors. We are committed to increasing shareholder value.

Business Partner Dialogue
We are committed to dialogue and partnership with our business partners in many communities throughout the world. We share principles of ethical behavior, social engagement and respect for the environment with our suppliers, subcontractors, agents and consultants. We will communicate our principles to our business partners and motivate them to adhere to the same standards we do.

Conflicts of Interest
We require all directors, officers and employees to maintain high ethical standards in handling conflicts of interest. They should disclose any relationship with persons or firms with whom we do business (‘Business Partners’), which might give rise to a conflict of interest, to a supervisor. Such relations include in particular a relationship by blood or marriage, partnership, participation or an investment in Business Partners.

Fair Competition
We are committed to free enterprise and fair competition. Company business must be conducted solely on the basis of merit and open competition. We will hire suppliers, agents or their intermediaries only by fair assessment. We are legally bound to make business decisions in the best interests of the company, independent of any understanding or agreement with a competitor. As a result, the company and its employees will avoid any conduct that violates or might appear to violate antitrust laws.

Bribery and Corruption
We trust that the excellence of our services is the key to our business success. Therefore we will deal with all our customers, suppliers and government agencies in a straightforward manner and in compliance with international anti-bribery standards as stated in the Global Compact and local anti-corruption and bribery laws. This includes any transaction that might appear to be arranged for granting concessions or benefits.

Gifts and Benefits
Employees should not solicit services, gifts, or benefits from customers or suppliers that influence or appear to influence the employee’s conduct in representing the company. Gifts and entertainment may be exchanged at a level that does not exceed customary local courtesies extended in accordance with ethical business practices and applicable law. In case of doubt, employees should consult with their supervisor or the HR department.

“Facilitating Payments”
Deutsche Post World Net does not generally allow “Facilitating Payments”, even where they might be legally permitted. Where there is no specific legislated prohibition on such payments, but the same are a local business practice, Deutsche Post World Net companies will nonetheless do the utmost to avoid making such payments, which are at all times strongly discouraged. Exceptionally, under clearly specified conditions stated in their regional policies and solely where such actions are not prohibited by law, area directors or regional CEOs can approve “Facilitating Payments” provided these are limited to the payment of small cash sums or the provision of small gifts, when customary and necessary to secure or expedite the performance of routine action. Any payment must be recorded and appear accurately on the company’s books and records.

Data Protection
Our employees shall not disclose information that is not known to the general public for personal gain or the benefit of anyone other than the company. Such information includes technical data, financial data, operating data, customer information, memoranda or other information regarding the company’s business and operational activities and future plans. Employees will adhere to relevant laws and company regulations with respect to personal data, which require employees to protect personal data of legal (where legally on par) and individual natural persons, including employees, shareholders and customers.

Our Social Responsibility.

We are committed to supporting the communities in which we work and recognize the need to contribute to their well-being with our know-how and professional skills. Respect for and understanding of the different cultures and a sensitive manner of dealing with their key issues is of highest importance to us as it builds trust and credibility within our international environment. We have and will continue to support community development as a sponsor in partnerships with non-government organizations and charities in accordance with our community investment policy. We recognize that we are measured by our actions outside the workplace and therefore call on our employees to respect the local culture and understand the issues of communities where they work.

We acknowledge the impact of our business activities on the environment and are committed to improving our environmental track record through precautionary measures and the use of environment-friendly technology. We regularly assess and monitor our impact on the environment. By systematically identifying and leveraging potential ecological initiatives, we strive to support constant improvement of our environmental performance and the increase of efficiency in our resources. This includes environmental audits and risk management. We want to measure our processes and services against the highest quality standards. National and international environmental standards – such as the ISO 14000 standard series – shall be our guiding principles. As a corporate group, we advocate and support the dissemination of environmentally and socially exacting standards throughout the world. We consider our employees’ commitment and active involvement to be an important platform for our efforts and a significant source of innovation.

Related Policies and Regulations, Local Codes.

The Code of Conduct sets the principles for all policies and regulations in Deutsche Post World Net. Local or business-related policies will provide more specific guidance. Divisions, business units, regional entities and companies of Deutsche Post World Net may adopt their own local codes, incorporating the substance of the Deutsche Post World Net Code of Conduct but modified to reflect requirements of local laws and regulations or the social customs and characteristics of their business operations. Such local codes may include additional, specific standards. However, in no event will any term contradict or be more lenient than this Deutsche Post World Net Code of Conduct. All local codes shall be reviewed and approved by the Global Values Office.

Postscript October 2009

Zumwinkel is getting his just desserts and the Lichtenstein banks have been forced to open their books.  Even some Swiss and other offshore banks have agreed to the same as can be seen by the extra tax being imposed by the US and UK on their non-domiciled citizens and others who’ve deliberately used these foreign banks to hide their un-paid tax.

By Strangely

Founding member of the gifted & talented band, "The Crawling Chaos" from the North-East of England.


  1. Since I first posted this, the 7 core values thing seems to have been dropped. It was probably overkill anyway as the “Code of Conduct” said everything anyway.
    The comapny has also moved on in other ways – going from success to success, leaving the ignomy of Zumwinkel behind. The new chap Dr Frank Appel, is very hands-on and keeps me informed of all the latest developments – it’s true! Same for everyone! Him and his team have all deferred their bonuses this year, for instance, in light of the difficult trading conditions everywhere. Myself, as a tiny chink in the DHL armour, I do my best.

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