Mahle and ZF replace leaders in management reshuffles
German equipment manufacturer Mahle has reshuffled its management team, appointing Arnd Franz, currently head of parts manufacturer LKQ Europe, as CEO and promoting Markus Kapaun to chief financial officer of the finance and accounting Europe, the company announced on Monday.
Franz’s position was most recently filled by Matthias Arleth, who was appointed CEO in October 2021 but left the company in April this year. His appointment is in a way a return to his roots: Franz had worked at Mahle for 18 years before leaving to lead LKQ Europe in 2019.
Kapaun succeeds Michael Frick, who was appointed chief financial officer of ZF Friedrichshafen on Monday, replacing Konstantin Sauer. He begins in his new role on December 1.
The shift to electrification at Mahle, known for making internal combustion engine components such as pistons, has led to friction between management and unions.
With Franz’s appointment, which begins Nov. 1, Mahle will have had three CEOs in less than two years, with spells lasting several months during which an interim chief executive led the company.
Joerg Stratmann, who took the job in 2018, resigned on March 31, 2021, under pressure from unions after announcing restructuring plans in 2020 which included the loss of 7,600 jobs, including 2,000 in Germany.
Stratmann was replaced by Arleth, an executive at sunroof maker Webasto, who started on January 1 this year. But he left after just four months “by mutual agreement”, the company said. His position was temporarily filled by Frick from May.
Franz, a Stuttgart native with a degree in business administration, started his career in 1992 at Deutsche Industrie-Holding and has worked at other companies including TEV, Erlensee and Magna Seating Systems. He joined Mahle in 2001 as Managing Director of Mahle Tennex North America. He joined the management committee in 2006, responsible for the secondary market, and the management council in 2013, responsible for commercial and engineering applications and the secondary market.
Kapaun, also from Stuttgart, joined Mahle as an intern in 2003. His senior positions included Control Manager at Mahle South America; Vice President Finance, Accounting, IT and Legal North America in Farmington Hills, Michigan. Kapaun was appointed to his current position in 2020.