Manager magazin looks at CEWE board turmoil

Germany’s Manager Magazin did a long retrospective on the years-long boardroom drama at CEWE Color that lead to the departure of two top executives, Christian Friege and Rolf Hollander. The German-language article is available here (subscription required).

Writer Dietmar Palan does a comprehensive history of the company’s unusual ownership structure – where the publicly held CEWE is primarily governed by the CEWE Color Foundation – as well as the autocratic methods of long-time leader Hollander.

Dr. Rolf Hollander is out at CEWE

The article notes, as Hollander moved out in 2017 of a full-time management role to the board of trustees, he still played an active part in executive meetings and “even got involved with subsidiaries, with suggestions that sounded like orders. After a short time, managers below the top management were in the office at Friege. Hollander would have given them instructions that contradicted the orders of the board.”

The on-going friction between Hollander and his successor, Friege, spilled out into a very public dispute that eventually led to the departure of both.