It is widely expected that two key executives at Continental – chairman and CEO – will be forced to relinquish their positions as part of an ongoing power struggle with major shareholder Schaeffler.
Karl-Thomas Neumann, Conti’s chief executive, was almost removed from his post at a board meeting last month by Schaeffler representatives and allies.
It is reported that they are ready to make a fresh attempt to get backing for the departure of Mr Neumann tomorrow and that they will only need the approval of two-thirds of directors this time. Under corporate rules for Conti, the threshold for acceptance has fallen to a simple majority of directors.
However, opposition has mounted to Schaeffler’s plans, and representatives of Conti’s employees have rallied behind the chief executive.
The Financial Times reports that sources close to the situation are suggesting that Rolf Koerfer, chairman of the supervisory board, would also agree to resign his post in an attempt to smooth feelings and cement support for the replacement of Mr Neumann. However, it is far from clear when he might give up his position and who would replace him.
The FT notes that Schaeffler controls Conti but at present holds just under 50 per cent of Conti’s shares, having agreed to limit its stake and preserve key aspects of Conti’s independence as part of an investor agreement that runs until 2014. Schaeffler is also struggling with its debts.