German auto supplier Mahle has shaken up its management team, naming Arnd Franz, currently head of parts-maker LKQ Europe, as CEO and promoting Markus Kapaun to CFO from head of finance and accounting Europe, the company said Monday.
Franz’s position was most recently held by Matthias Arleth, who was appointed CEO in October 2021 but left the company in April. His appointment is something of a homecoming: Franz had worked at Mahle for 18 years before leaving to run LKQ Europe in 2019.
Kapaun succeeds Michael Frick, who on Monday was announced as CFO of ZF Friedrichshafen, replacing Konstantin Sauer. He starts in his new role Dec. 1.
The transition to electrification at Mahle, known for making internal-combustion engine components such as pistons, has led to friction between management and unions.
With the appointment of Franz, who starts Nov. 1, Mahle will have had three CEOs in less than two years, with periods of several months in which an interim CEO led the company.
Joerg Stratmann, who took the position in 2018, resigned on March 31, 2021, under pressure from unions after announcing restructuring plans in 2020 that included cutting 7,600 jobs, including 2,000 in Germany.
Stratmann was replaced by Arleth, an executive at sunroof-maker Webasto, who started on Jan. 1 of this year. But he left after just four months “by mutual agreement,” the company said. His position was temporarily filled by Frick starting in May.
Franz, a native of Stuttgart who holds a degree in business administration, started his career in 1992 with Deutsche Industrie-Holding, and 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 aftermarket, and the management board in 2013, responsible for sales and engineering applications and aftermarket.
Kapaun, also a native of Stuttgart, joined Mahle as a trainee in 2003. His management posts included head of controlling at Mahle South America; vice president finance, accounting, IT and legal affairs North America in Farmington Hills, Michigan. Kapaun was named to his current post in 2020.