Analysis: ZF CEO’s ‘reckless’ buying spree led to his departure

Frankfurt, Germany — The departure of ZF Friedrichshafen CEO Stefan Sommer shows that politics and entrepreneurism rarely are a good match. Sommer turned ZF into the world’s second-largest supplier with the $12.4 billion (€10.5 billion) acquisition of TRW Automotive, but his global expansion ambitions clashed with the parochial outlook of the trust that runs the company.

Sommer and Andreas Brand, mayor of ZF’s home town of Friedrichshafen, Germany, and chairman of the city-run Zeppelin Foundation that holds 93.8% of ZF, have been at odds for months….

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