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June 4, 2021

Continental’s ContiTech division promotes new CEO

Tier 1 automotive supplier Continental is reorganising and forming a strategy to be well-positioned in advanced technologies across industries. A new leader for its ContiTech business unit is taking charge.

By David Leggett

Philip Nelles (47) has officially taken up his responsibilities as the new CEO of Continental’s ContiTech business area.

In its March 16 resolution, Continental’s supervisory board appointed Nelles to its executive board with effect from June 1, 2021, as the successor to Hans-Jürgen Duensing (63). For personal reasons and at his own request, Duensing was relieved of his responsibilities with effect from May 31, 2021 following 35 years of dedicated service to the company and its customers.

In his new role, Conti said Nelles stands ‘committed to driving the unit’s ongoing transformation as a provider of innovative solutions for a highly industrial clientele’. “We consider it our corporate responsibility to develop cutting-edge materials and innovative technologies together with and for our diversified customers. Sustainability is equally an enormous chance and a key driver for innovations for new and completely changed future business models. This enables us to not only stay on top of the evolving needs of ever-changing markets, but also to do our part in fulfilling the societal responsibilities to which the entire company group stands committed. And the sum total of all of this is that we are steadily paving the way to future viability,” said ContiTech Executive Board member Phillip Nelles, adding: “Together with our global team, it’s a great pleasure for me to be pursuing these objectives.”

Among ContiTech’s top medium- and long-term priorities is the digitalization of its products and systems and the expansion of its business by means of dedicated services for various industries. Focus is particular on profitable growth fields. “With our strategic focus on ‘Smart and Sustainable Solutions Beyond Rubber’, we have already set out on the right path. Now our sights are firmly set on achieving this goal to the fullest,” remarked Nelles. Beyond this, ContiTech is also committed to increasingly leveraging the many promising business opportunities emerging in Asia’s growth markets. Another priority high on the business unit’s agenda is reducing its dependency on the automotive industry’s business cycles by further diversifying its customer portfolio.

Last year, roughly 180 million euros were invested in the modernization and expansion of ContiTech’s production facilities around the globe. Investment was below that of the previous year due to the effects of the pandemic. “Provided the business climate remains stable, we will once again be stepping up our investments – most notably in the ongoing digitalization of our production plants – so as to accelerate our progress on the road to integrated, digital manufacturing and Industry 4.0 on a global scale. One important component is the needs-orientated qualification and training of our employees. We want to accompany them in the transformation process and make them fit for future digital working environments,” said Nelles.

“The groundwork for a successful future has been laid by my predecessor, Hans-Jürgen Duensing. His decades-long efforts on behalf of the company make this amply clear, as do the many exchanges I have been privileged to have with him, all of which demonstrate just how profoundly industrial expertise was in the DNA he brought to ContiTech,” remarked Nelles in honor of Duensing’s accomplishments, adding: “I have always greatly appreciated Hans-Jürgen’s passion for industry, as well as the trust he placed in our global team – not merely in his roles as coach and mentor, but also as a colleague and in our personal relationship. This all adds up to a solid foundation for teamwork and a motivating spirit of innovation as outstanding factors in achieving even more success over the years to come.”

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