JT Battenberg, who has headed Delphi Corporation since the supplier was spun off from General Motors in 1999, will retire this year, Automotive News reported on Wednesday.

The paper said Battenberg, 61, was a career employee at GM from 1961 before being appointed Delphi CEO.

"This has been part of my career plans for quite some time," Battenberg told Automotive News on Wednesday, adding: "I was able to work this out with the board of directors, and will stay on until a successor is found."

Delphi reportedly said it has hired Egon Zehnder International of Duesseldorf, Germany, to help find Battenberg's replacement.

While Delphi reportedly said it would consider external candidates, Battenberg told Automotive News the search begins with internal candidates.