A solution to the months-long internal conflict over the Chairmanship of the Executive Board of the Neumüller Cewe Color Foundation was already announced in November with the appointment of Yvonne Rostock. At the turn of the year, both the previous Chairman of the Executive Board, Dr. Christian Friege, and Dr. Rolf Hollander, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, have departed the company. While one left of his own free will, the other was forced to resign. All signs point to the restoration of unity at Cewe.
Since the Board of Trustees of the Cewe Color Foundation decided in spring 2022 against extending Dr. Christian Friege’s contract beyond the turn of the year, there have been repeated disputes within the Group. This is because both the Supervisory Board and the heirs of company founder, Heinz Neumüller, who are Cewe’s largest shareholders with a combined 27.1 %, did not agree with the decision and had spoken out in favor of extending the contract.
New Chairwoman of the Management Board starts in March
The situation was supposed to be pacified in November of last year with the announcement that Yvonne Rostock would succeed Dr. Christian Friege as Chairman of the Executive Board. Alexander Neumüller, a beneficiary of the Neumüller Cewe Color Foundation, had determined that through his special right to appoint a member of the Executive Board, that Friege would remain on the company’s Executive Board after the turn of the year. However, Dr. Christian Friege has now left the Group at his own request in order to take on a new professional challenge.
Friege had been a member of the Board of Management since 2016 and had been its Chairman since mid-2017. During this time, the photo service provider has continued to grow, including through the acquisitions of WhiteWall and Cheerz. His position as Chairman of the Board of Trustees will be taken over by Yvonne Rostock as of March 1, and thus somewhat earlier than planned.
Chairman of the Board of Trustees leaves
Dr. Rolf Hollander, who had been with Cewe since 1986, including many years as CEO himself, took over as Chairman of the Board of Trustees in 2017. At the end of November, he was confirmed as a member as well as Chairman of the Board of Trustees for a further four years – however, the Board of Management of the Neumüller Cewe Color Foundation immediately announced legal concerns regarding the conformity of these decisions with the Articles of Association and ordered an investigation. Two legal opinions have now independently come to the conclusion that the required majority on the Board of Trustees was not achieved. The renewed election of Dr. Rolf Hollander is thus null and void, according to a statement issued by the photo service provider at the beginning of January. He thus left the Group at the turn of the year.
However, the news portal NWZOnline last reported that Hollander wanted to defend himself against this decision. The disputes at Cewe will therefore not calm down any time soon.