Hanover, Germany — Elmar Degenhart is to leave his position as CEO of Continental AG on 30 Nov, due to "immediately essential preventative health care," the German group has announced.
Supervisory board chairman Wolfgang Reitzle will convene the board as soon as possible to appoint a successor for Degenhart, said a 29 Nov Continental statement. .
"After a lot of effort invested for the benefit of our organisation, I was recently made aware of the importance of immediately giving precautionary measures for my health," Degenhart said in the statement.
"It has been a pleasure and an honour for me to have been at the helm of Continental and leading its accelerated turnaround and profitable growth," the departing CEO added
Degenhart has led the tires, rubber and automotive systems supplier for over 10 years under an executive board contract that runs through 11 Aug 2024.
The aim now, said Reitzle, is to create continuity for the group overall as it looks to expand and establish itself as a "pioneering technology and software mobility company" as well as tire manufacturer and automotive supplier.
Since taking the top post at Continental, Degenghart has led the German group through some tumultuous times.
"When he took office in August 2009, Degenhart and his team led the company out of a situation that threatened its very existence, and brought it back into the DAX 30 Index and to an industry-wide top position," said Reitzle.
"Under his leadership, Continental's debt was significantly reduced to a normal level, its equity capital strengthened and its previous high investment grade fully restored," he added.
Degenhart's resignation comes in the midst of a company-wide restructuring plan intended to boost profitability and position the company for growth as the mobility landscape evolves toward electric and autonomous vehicles.
With the plan, Continental is looking to save €1 billion per year by 2023 by cutting personnel, consolidating and closing operations, and selling less profitable components of the business.
"I would have clearly preferred to continue working on our structural realignment, our profitable growth and viability enhancement programme," Degenhart stated.