Nikolai Setzer takes over as Continental CEO
Continental AG has appointed Nikolai Setzer (49) as its new executive board chairman until March 2024, effective 1 December 2020. He succeeds Dr. Elmar Degenhart (61), who is stepping down for health reasons, effective 30 November 2020. Setzer is widely seen as a safe pair of hands for the company who has been prepared for the position for 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. 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,” explained Prof. Wolfgang Reitzle, chairman of Continental’s Supervisory Board. He added: “At the same time, we express our sincere thanks to Mr. 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 commented on the appointment 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.”
“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,” said Setzer.
Setzer has worked at Continental since finishing his studies in engineering management in Germany and France in 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 Tires business area – which was formed from the passenger-car and commercial-vehicle tire 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 thus 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 1 December 2020.