HANOVER, Germany — The supervisory board of Continental A.G. has appointed Nikolai Setzer, head of the firm's tire business from 2011 to 2019, to be chairman of the executive board, succeeding Elmar Degenhart, who's stepping down for health reasons.
Mr. Setzer, 49, joined Continental in 1997 after finishing his studies in engineering management in Germany and France and has held a number of development and sales positions since in the company's tire division.
He was named head of the company's passenger tire business in March 2009 and assumed responsibility for the entire business unit in August 2011. Conti added responsibility for corporate purchasing to his duties in May 2015 and in April 2019 he assumed the then-newly created position of spokesman of the Automotive Board.
Wolfgang Reitzle, chairman of Continental's supervisory board, cited Mr. Setzer's "long-standing bond with Continental and its company values as well as his extensive international experience in the automotive and tire business," as reasons for his selection to succeed Mr. Degenhart, chairman for the past 10-plus years.
"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," Mr. Reitzle said. "Nikolai Setzer has our utmost trust and confidence. The Supervisory Board is certain that he will push forward with and successfully shape this transformation."
Mr. Setzer's term runs through March 2024; he will continue in his position as spokesman of the Automotive Board
At the same time, Mr. Reitzle said the board expresses its "sincere thanks" to Mr. Degenhart for his "outstanding performance, exemplary leadership and considerable contribution" to Continental's success over the years.
Mr. Degenhart said he holds Mr. Setzer "in highest esteem," a relationship that evolved during their time together on the firm's executive leadership team.
"By virtue of his strategic foresight and ability to implement ideas, he has gained recognition both in and outside the company," he said.
Mr. Degenhart notified the company on Oct. 29 he intended to resign Nov. 30, citing "immediately essential preventative health care" as the reason for doing so.
Christian Koetz, a 24-year Conti veteran, heads up the firm's tire division as Mr. Setzer's successor.