ESLINGEN, Germany — Continental A.G.'s supervisory board has extended the contract of CEO Elmar Degenhart for five years, through August 2024, saying the move "reflects the continuous profitable development of the company" under his guidance.
Mr. Degenhart, 59, joined Continental in August 2009 as chairman of the executive board to replace Karl-Thomas Neumann, who had resigned in the wake of waning confidence in his leadership of the company. Mr. Degenhart came to Conti from Schaeffler Group — Conti's largest single shareholder — where he had been chairman of Schaeffler's automotive unit.
His current term ends Aug. 11, 2019. He is directly responsible for corporate communications, quality and environment, the global lean management program known as Continental Business System, and numerous central functions in the automotive group.
Under Mr. Degenhart's leadership, Continental has "achieved top performance industrywide," Supervisory Board Chairman Wolfgang Reitzle said.
"Together with his executive board colleagues and senior executives, he has geared the organization and company culture toward sustainable and profitable growth in early preparation for the ongoing profound transformation of the automotive industry," Mr. Reitzler said.
"The extension of his contract reflects the continuous profitable development of the company. For this, the supervisory board is demonstrating its full confidence in him," he added.
In his own remarks, Mr. Degenhart said, "The increasing digitalization of all processes and products, the conversion of vehicles to electric drive systems, and the high growth in the fields of automated driving and connectivity have triggered a profound transformation in our industries.
"We are right at the forefront of shaping this transformation. For over eight years now, we have been working on expanding our culture of networking and trust."
Mr. Degenhart noted that Continental is undergoing a major reorganization — one that will result by 2020 in a holding company with three business sectors, rubber, automotive and powertrain — and said this change "will help us to continue our rapid, profitable growth and to exploit new business potential."
At the same time, the board terminated José Avila's position on the executive board and announced he will take on strategic advisory role through year-end 2019 for electrification technologies. He has been a board member since 2010 overseeing the firm's Powertrain Division.