Changes at the top for ZF

11 July 2022

The Supervisory Board of global powertrain supplier ZF Friedrichshafen AG has appointed Dr. Holger Klein, member of the Board of Management responsible for the Asia-Pacific region, Car Chassis Technology Division, Aftermarket and Production, to chairman and CEO, effective at the beginning of 2023.

Dr. Holger Klein Dr. Holger Klein

As of Oct. 1, Klein will initially assume the role of deputy chairman of the ZF Board of Management before taking over as chairman on Jan. 1, 2023. He succeeds Wolf-Henning Scheider, who is leaving ZF.

At the same time, Dr. Peter Laier will join the company’s Board of Management to lead the Commercial Vehicle Solutions (CVS) and Industrial Technology divisions succeeding Wilhelm Rehm. ZF Chief Financial Officer Dr. Konstantin Sauer will leave the company by the end of 2022 after many years of service. The company will fill that position in the near future.

Wolf-Henning Scheider Wolf-Henning Scheider

“The almost simultaneous end of three appointments of proven, successful, and highly esteemed board members poses a particular challenge for the company,” said Dr. Heinrich Hiesinger, Chairman of ZF’s Supervisory Board. “We are, therefore, very pleased to announce two successors today. The succession process for Dr. Sauer is already in an advanced stage.”

Wilhelm Rehm Wilhelm Rehm

Klein joined ZF in 2014 from the McKinsey management consultancy. Starting in 2015, he led the integration of U.S. company TRW Automotive after it was acquired by ZF. In early 2017, he became head of the Car Chassis Technology Division and realigned its product range with ZF’s “Next Generation Mobility” strategy. Klein has served as a member of the ZF Board of Management since 2018 and heads the Asia-Pacific and India regions from Shanghai. In addition, he manages the business of the Passenger Car Chassis Technology and Aftermarket divisions and is responsible for ZF’s worldwide production.

“As a board member, Dr. Holger Klein was intimately involved in the strategic planning process for the coming years,” said Supervisory Board Chairman Dr. Heinrich Hiesinger. “Therefore, he will dynamically continue the successful transformation at ZF and add his own impulses.”

Dr. Peter Laier Dr. Peter Laier

Scheider joined ZF in early 2018 as chairman of the Board of Management and CEO after serving as chairman of the Automotive Technology business sector at Robert Bosch GmbH, as well as chairman of the board and CEO of Mahle Group. He is also in charge of research and development, as well as sales of ZF Group.

ZF Deputy Chairman Dr. Konstantin Sauer, responsible for Finance, IT, and Mergers & Acquisitions, will conclude his tenure with ZF at the end of 2022 after many years of service. The industrial engineer and Ph.D. graduate in business administration joined ZF in 1990, took over as President of ZF South America in 2000, and became the Group’s Chief Financial Officer in 2010.

“The Supervisory Board will address the succession of Dr. Sauer in the near future,” Hiesinger said. “During this difficult year, he agreed to stay through the end of the year, contrary to his original plans. I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to him for his continued service.”

Rehm, whose contract expires at the end of the year, joined ZF in 2003 and took over in 2010 as chairman of the Management Board of the former ZF Passau GmbH, He has served as a member of the ZF Board of Management since 2012 and leads the Commercial Vehicle Solutions (CVS) and Industrial Technology divisions as well as materials management.

Laier holds a Ph.D. in engineering and held various executive roles at well-known industrial companies such as Continental and Benteler before joining Knorr-Bremse in 2016, where he led the commercial vehicle division until 2021.


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