Former BMW and Ford Premier Automotive Group executive Wolfgang Reitzle, who chairs the executive board at industrial gas supplier Linde, is to also chair partsmaker Continental’s supervisory board, once approved.


Conti executive board member Michael Frenzel is leaving to concentrate on his main role at travel firm Tui.


“By reorganising the executive board and now by filling the position in the supervisory board with a neutral person who comes from outside the two companies, Continental has established the personnel groundwork required to lead the company into a sustainably successful future together with its major shareholder [Schaeffler],” current supervisory board chairman Rolf Koerfer said in a statement.


In the row over its attempt to take over Conti, Schaeffler engineered the departure of its target’s CEO, Karl-Thomas Neumann, who had firmly opposed the takeover, replacing him with Elmar Degenhart. Chairman Koerfer agreed to step down by 29 September but will remain on the board.


“We are very pleased that we have been able to persuade Professor Reitzle to take on this challenging mandate,” said Schaeffler owner Maria-Elisabeth Schaeffler in a statement.


Separately, sources close to the matter told Reuters Continental was pressing to issue new shares worth EUR1.5bn (US$2.2bn) before year’s end to take advantage of the good market environment.


Ball bearing maker Schaeffler’s attempt to take over Continental roused bitter opposition from some of the management and workers’ representatives. It owns more than 90% of the shares in Continental, but in line with an agreement reached last year, it retained 49% and deposited the rest with banks after running into funding difficulties with its audacious move due largely to the credit crunch.