Dr Klaus Bleyer will stand down next month (June) as chief executive officer of ZF Friedrichshafen AG, the transmission and engine specialist. When this was announced at the annual press conference recently, a local German journalist rose to his feet to thank Bleyer for his dealings with the press and to wish him well in his retirement. Just politeness, or genuine regard for a job well done? It doesn't really matter. Anyone who has remained CEO of a major Tier One supplier for more than a decade deserves a long and happy retirement. Anthony Lewis reports.