Europe: Bosses Under Fire

European CEOs are scrambling to meet demands from shareholders

Christian Strenger, an unassuming 55-year-old, hardly looks like a guy who could send tremors down CEOs' spines. But as chief executive of DWS, Deutsche Bank's mutual-fund arm, he controls assets of nearly $95 billion. Since the early 1990s, he has quietly prodded companies to boost shareholder returns, and lately he has made real headway. In just the past two weeks, three pillars of Germany Inc.--conglomerate Siemens, retailer Metro, and, most recently, chemical maker Hoechst--have launched or sped up long-awaited restructurings, partly thanks to Strenger's persistence.

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