The company explained Degenhart’s stepping down with “immediately necessary health reasons”. For eleven years, Degenhart had been at the helm of the group, at the end of October he asked the Supervisory Board to agree to a premature termination of his mandate and of his contract of employment still valid until March 2024. The Supervisory Board appointed Nikolai Setzer (49) as new Chief Executive Officer. Setzer has started his new position as of 1st December 2020. His contract lasts until March 2024 for now. The 49-year-old spokesman of the Automotive Board continues in this position, which he started in April 2019. Thus, the number of Executive Board team members at Continental will has been decreased from nine to eight as of 1st December 2020.
“After working until recently with enormous physical exertion for the sake of our organization, only a short time ago, I was made aware of the importance of paying immediate attention to health and of putting provisions for it in the foreground of my personal life plans. I would have preferred taking part in our structural reorganization, working on our growth and development program and enjoying its future success, especially with regard to recently taken difficult decisions and paving the way for this. Nonetheless, concerning the suggested health-oriented moderation I will have to prioritize differently in the future”, Degenhart announces.
Since 12th August 2009 and already in his third term of office Degenhart, who holds a doctorate in engineering, has been the CEO of the company. His direct responsibilities consist of company communication, company strategy, quality management of the Continental Group, and the start-up program co-pace. “It has been a great pleasure and honour to be at the helm of Continental and to move forward its turnaround as well as accelerating a profitable growth course. I am thankful to our customers for the trust they have always placed in me and also to our shareholders, the Supervisory Board, my Executive Board members, my direct employees and the worldwide Continental team for their outstanding support, their enormous commitment and impressive performance during the more than eleven past years. The unique value and network culture of the Continental team will guarantee huge success on the strategic road already taken”, Degenhart looks back.
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Wolfgang Reitzle praises Degenhart’s “extraordinary performance, his exemplary management behaviour as well his merits related to Continental’s year-long success story. We all find Mr. Degenhart’s decision and his resignation very regrettable. Nevertheless, we respect his wish and fully support his personal reasons. After taking over his position in August 2009, Mr. Degenhart together with his team has succeeded in leading the company out of a situation threatening its very existence back into the DAX-30 index.”