Outgoing Continental AG CEO Elmar Degenhart released a video statement Thursday, explaining the reasons for his stepping down from the post on the same day his successor was named.

“The last 11 years at the helm of Continental, I’ve addressed many messages to you. Today’s message is the hardest for me,” Degenhart said. “At the end of November, it’s time for me to give up my current position. This step may come as a surprise to many of you.

“The reason behind my decision is a personal,” Degenhart continued. “Several weeks ago, I suddenly had to check into the hospital. My body gave me the clear signal that I needed to look after myself.

But before I vacate my office at the end of November, one thing is particularly important to me. And that is to thank you all, once again, each and every one of you. Thank you for your trust, your great support, your utmost commitment, and your feedback.”

In its meeting today, the Supervisory Board of Continental AG appointed Nikolai Setzer as new Executive Board chairman until March 2024, effective December 1, 2020.

Setzer succeeds Dr. Elmar Degenhart, who, as already announced, is stepping down from his position prematurely for health reasons.

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,” Degenhart said. “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.”

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 tire business in March 2009, the company said in a statement.

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