Auto parts firm Continental gets new boss

Auto parts firm Continental gets new boss
Photo: DPA
The supervisory board of German auto parts and tyre maker Continental said on Saturday its chairman would be replaced by a man backed by ex-rival Schaeffler, which took over the group this month.

“Hubertus von Gruenberg wants to make his chairmanship available at short notice,” the board said in a statement, following a meeting to debate demands by Schaeffler, it principal shareholder, which had called for Gruenberg’s departure on Tuesday.

Four people tapped by family-owned Schaeffler will join the supervisory board, including Schaeffler head Maria-Elisabeth Schaeffler, the statement said. The board “has agreed that Rolf Koerfer will run for the position of chairman” once the new members – who include Koerfer – are in place, it said.

The announcement came after months of clashes between the two companies. Both companies are facing a slowdown in demand due to the deepening crisis in the car industry worldwide.

In early January, Schaeffler wrapped up the takeover of much bigger Continental, with a 49.9 percent stake. It has pledged not to take a majority holding before 2012.