Continental rejigs top management

The Supervisory Board of Continental has approved the largest organisational changes in the company’s history. Following this, Executive Board member Nikolai Setzer (47), responsible for the Tyre division and Corporate Purchasing, will switch to Continental’s Automotive Group on April 1, 2019. Here, he will assume the new position of spokesman for the Automotive Board and will be in charge of maintaining a unified business strategy in this area. His responsibilities will comprise a range of global Automotive corporate functions, including Purchasing, Key Account Management, Supply Chain Management, and Automotive Manufacturing. Starting January 1, 2020, his team will be strengthened with the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Automotive, under whose leadership Continental will combine part of its automotive development activities.

The Supervisory Board has extended, the appointment of Nikolai Setzer as a member of the Executive Board by five years to the end of March 2024 as a result of his change. Succeeding him as head of the Tire division and Corporate Purchasing will be new member of the Executive Board Christian Kötz (48), who heads the Commercial Vehicle Tires business unit effective from April 1, 2019. His term will end on March 2022.

Due to the changes in the Automotive area, the Supervisory Board also extended the appointments of Executive Board members Frank Jourdan (58) and Helmut Matschi (55) ahead of time until the end of March 2024. It has also extended the appointment of CFO Wolfgang Schäfer (59), which was due to expire this year, by five years to the end of 2024. In addition to Finance, Schäfer is responsible for Controlling, Compliance, Legal and IT. The appointments of the remaining members of the Executive Board were not up for extension.

In addition to the spokesman Nikolai Setzer, the members of this board include the members of the Executive Board Frank Jourdan (58), President Chassis & Safety division; and Helmut Matschi, President Interior division. The board will be completed with Dr. Dirk Abendroth (43), Chief Technology Officer of Automotive; as well as the heads of Finance & Controlling and Human Relations for Automotive, who have yet to be appointed.


Nikolai Setzer has a degree in engineering management and has worked at Continental since 1997. In March 2009, he took charge of the Passenger and Light Truck Tire division, based in Hanover. He has been a member of the Executive Board of Continental AG since August 2009. He assumed responsibility for the Tire division in August 2011 and for Corporate Purchasing in May 2015.

Christian Kötz studied engineering management and joined Continental’s Tire division as a trainee back in 1996. He was later responsible for key account management for the Original Equipment in North America, and then for research and development. From 2011 to 2018, he headed the Passenger and Light Truck Tires replacement business for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He took over the top position at the Commercial Vehicle Tires business unit in July 2018. From 2015 to the end of 2017, he was also president of ETRMA, the European Tyre & Rubber Manufacturers’ Association.

Frank Jourdan studied engineering and has a background in software. He joined the company in 1988. He has been a member of the Executive Board since September 2013 as head of the Chassis & Safety division, based in Frankfurt am Main. He had previously spent four years in charge of the Vehicle Dynamics business unit.

Helmut Matschi holds a degree in telecommunications engineering and has been a member of the Continental AG Executive Board since August 2009. He first joined Siemens Automobiltechnik in 1986, before becoming a member of the Siemens VDO board in 2007 and taking charge of the Interior division, based in Regensburg, in January 2008.

Wolfgang Schäfer has a business degree and has been Continental’s CFO since January 1, 2010. Prior to that, he had leading roles in the financial sector at a number of technology and automotive suppliers.

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