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Continental Names Next Chairman

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Continental Nikolai Setzer

Nikolai Setzer will take over the top job at Continental on Dec. 1 after 23 years at the company.

Nikolai Setzer will take over as executive board chairman of Continental AG on Dec. 1. He replaces Elmar Degenhart, who is stepping down at the end of November due to health reasons.

Setzer has spent his entire career at Continental, joining the company after completing his engineering studies in 1997. Since then he's served in numerous roles, including as head of passenger tire business, and assumed responsibility for the entire tires business in August 2011. He then led corporate purchasing in 2015, and in 2019 moved to Continental's automotive group where he took on a newly created position as spokesman of the automotive board. In that role he was responsible for maintaining a unified business strategy. He'll continue in that role, and also will remain a member of the executive board, where he's served since August 2009.

The number of executive board members at Continental will decrease from nine to eight on Dec. 1.

Wolfgang Reitzle, chairman of Continental’s supervisory board, said, “Continental is in the process of transforming into a technology and software company that, together with vehicle manufacturers, is laying the foundation for the sustainable mobility of the future. Nikolai Setzer has our utmost trust and confidence. The supervisory board is certain that he will push forward with and successfully shape this transformation. Key factors here are his deep, long-standing bond with Continental and its company values as well as his extensive international experience in the automotive and tire business."

Reitzle also gave thanks to Degenhart "for his outstanding performance, his exemplary leadership and his considerable contribution to Continental’s success over the years. We wish him all the best for the future, especially regarding his health.”

Degenhart said of Setzer, “I hold Nikolai Setzer in highest esteem, which evolved during our close and trusting cooperation as a result of his excellent service in a variety of functions and areas of the company. By virtue of his strategic foresight and ability to implement ideas, he has gained recognition both in and outside the company. I welcome the supervisory board’s decision and wish Nikolai Setzer and the entire Continental team all the best and great success for the future.”

Setzer said, “Continental has been a strong values alliance for top value creation for nearly 150 years. In view of the profound transformation in the automotive industry, Elmar Degenhart and our entire Executive Board team set the necessary strategic course early on in order to enhance Continental’s competitiveness and viability. Therefore my most urgent task, together with executives and employees worldwide, is to pursue our ongoing growth course as a technology company without interruption and to lead Continental into a new era of mobility, backed by profitable growth."

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