Dr. Holger Klein, Member of the Board of Management responsible for the Asia-Pacific region, Car Chassis Technology Division, Aftermarket and Production, is to succeed Wolf-Henning Scheider as Chairman and CEO of ZF Friedrichshafen AG at the turn of the year 2022/2023.
At the same time, Dr. Peter Laier will join the 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 Supervisory Board will fill the position in the near future.
“The almost simultaneous end of three appointments of proven, successful, and highly esteemed board members pose a particular challenge for the company,” says 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.”
Dr. Holger Klein joined ZF in 2014 as a seasoned international industry expert from McKinsey management consultancy. Starting in 2015, he led the integration of U.S. company TRW Automotive post-acquisition, which he completed earlier than planned. In early 2017, Dr. Klein became Head of the Car Chassis Technology Division and realigned its product range with ZF’s ‘Next Generation Mobility’ strategy. He 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. Under his leadership, ZF won traditional and new automotive OEMs in Asia as customers of ZF’s strategic and future-oriented products. In addition, he succeeded in positioning ZF increasingly as a systems provider. Dr. Klein spearheaded the creation of new development centres and production facilities, especially in China, to capitalise on rapid technological change and enable ZF’s business expansion.
“As a board member, Dr. Holger Klein was intimately involved in the strategic planning process for the coming years. Therefore, he will dynamically continue the successful transformation at ZF and add his own impulses,” said Supervisory Board Chairman Dr. Heinrich Hiesinger. As of October 1, 2022, Dr. Klein will initially assume the role of Deputy Chairman of the ZF Board of Management before taking over as Chairman of the Board of Management and CEO as of January 1, 2023, from Wolf-Henning Scheider, who is leaving ZF.
Wolf-Henning Scheider (60) 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. At present, Wolf-Henning Scheider is also in charge of research and development, as well as sales of ZF Group. “Wolf-Henning Scheider has set the strategic direction for the transformation of the company, achieved significant milestones, and will continue on this path with ZF through the end of the year to enable a transition focused on continuity,” said Supervisory Board Chairman Dr. Heinrich Hiesinger.
“ZF is undergoing an unprecedented, dynamic transformation. The appointment of Dr. Holger Klein as the new Chairman is an excellent and important signal both internally and externally,” commented Andreas Brand as a representative of the Zeppelin Foundation of the City of Friedrichshafen, which holds 93.8 percent of all ZF shares.
Representing the Dr. Jürgen and Irmgard Ulderup Foundation, which holds a 6.2 percent stake in ZF, Dr. Joachim Meinecke emphasizes: “Dr. Klein possesses the best prerequisites, knows the company, its customers and suppliers, the industry and, above all, the challenges which need to be mastered today and in the future.”