Continental CEO to Resign Due to Health Reasons

Having served more than 11 years as CEO of Continental Tire, Dr. Elmar Degenhart announced that he intends to resign from his position following some health concerns. His resignation will be effective on November 30, 2020.

The announcement was followed by a termination of his Executive Board directorship and contract. This was supposed to run until August 11, 2024. He asked the Supervisory Board to accept his request. The board is expected to convene soon to decide on the successor to Degenhart.

Explaining his decision, Degenhart said that he was recently made aware of how important it was for him to take immediate precautionary measures for his health. This was after putting a lot of effort to benefit Continental Tire. “I would have clearly preferred to continue working on our structural realignment, our profitable growth, and viability enhancement program,” he said.

He went on to add that he would have loved to be part of the future success that Continental Tire will experience, especially since he was part of a team that made the most difficult decisions and set the decisive course for success. However, in consideration of the advice he was given regarding his health, he is forced to set other priorities.

Degenhard is 61 years old and holds a doctorate in engineering. He has been the CEO at Conti since 2009 and is currently doing his third term. He is in charge of Group Communications, Group Strategy, Group Total Quality Management, and the start-up program Co-Pace.

Speaking about his time at Continental, Degenhart said, “It has been a pleasure and an honor for me to have been at the helm of Continental and leading its accelerated turnaround and profitable growth. I would like to thank our customers for the trust they have placed in me as well as our shareholders, the Supervisory Board, my fellow Executive Board members, my personal team and the global Continental team for their great support, utmost commitment and impressive performance over the past more than eleven years. I am convinced that the Continental team will enjoy great success in the future thanks to its unique values and network culture and driven by its new strategy.”

On behalf of the Supervisory Board, chairman Prof. Dr.-Ing. Wolfgang Reitzle acknowledged Degenhart’s achievements throughout his time. He mentioned his excellent track record, exemplary leadership, and outstanding performance. He also said that the company deeply regrets Degenhart’s decision but nevertheless respects his personal wish and understand the reasons behind it.

When he took office in 2009, Degenhart was able to get the company out of a threatening situation and got it back to the DAX 30 Index. The company was also able to achieve an industry-wide top position. Debt was significantly reduced, equity capital strengthened, and its previous high investment-grade fully restored.

Reitzle added: “As a leader and as a person, Dr. Degenhart is a role model of the leadership principle he has coined: values create value. He deserves the greatest possible thanks from all stakeholders for his track record. With a systematically realigned organization and the enhancement of a lasting values culture, he has laid the decisive foundations for further profitable growth and the future viability of Continental.”