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Continental appoints Nikolai Setzer as new CEO

23-year Conti veteran to lead company’s transformation in technology and software areas, says board

Continental AG has announced the appointment of Nikolai Setzer as its new chief executive officer and new executive board chairman until March 2024.

Setzer, 49, was confirmed by the company’s Supervisory Board as the successor of Dr. Elmar Degenhart, 61, who steps down from the position for on November 30 for health reasons, with Setzer’s term beginning December 1 this year.

Prof. 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 tyre business.

“At the same time, we express our sincere thanks to Dr. 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.”

Setzer has worked at Continental since 1997. In his 23-year career at the company to date, he has held various positions in development and sales in Germany and abroad, assuming the position of head of the Hanover-based passenger-car tyre business in March 2009. He has been a member of the Executive Board of Continental AG since August 2009. He assumed responsibility for the tyres business area – which was formed from the passenger-car and commercial-vehicle tyre businesses – in August 2011 and for corporate purchasing in May 2015.

In April 2019, Setzer switched to Continental’s Automotive Group, where he assumed the newly created position of spokesman of the Automotive Board and was responsible for maintaining a unified business strategy in this area. He will continue in this position. The number of Executive Board members at Continental will decrease from nine to eight on December 1.

“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,” said Setzer.

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