Schaeffler has appointed former German Foreign Office diplomat, Peter Wittig to head its newly- created Global Affairs unit.

Since joining the Foreign Service in the 1980s, he has served in numerous assignments in conflict regions in Europe, the Middle East and in multilateral diplomacy.

From 2009 to 2014, he represented Germany at the United Nations in New York, including two years on the Security Council.

He then moved to Washington as Ambassador, where he represented German interests during the Obama and Trump Presidencies. Protectionism, trade conflicts and sanctions laws became a focus of his work.

In 2018, he was sent to London as Ambassador.

“We are very pleased we have been able to recruit Dr. Wittig, an internationally very experienced diplomat, for the Schaeffler Group,” said chairman, Georg Schaeffler.

“He will advise and support the executive board of Schaeffler in adapting the Schaeffler Group to the emerging changes.”

For his part, Schaeffler CEO, Klaus Rosenfeld added: “The coming years will become very challenging for us as an automotive and industrial supplier with global reach.

“In this environment the understanding of political developments and global risks is becoming increasingly important. With Dr. Wittig, an outstanding expert in this field is joining us.”

In his new role, Wittig reports directly to Rosenfeld. The new Global Affairs unit will include, in addition to political communication and the coordination of associations, a newly created function, ‘Global Risks, which will be dedicated to the analysis of global risks and macroeconomic developments.

The third pillar of the unit will focus on public funding of technology, innovation and research. While the functional responsibility for these areas will remain with the respective members of the executive board, the newly-created unit will take responsibility for coordination of activities for all four regions of the Schaeffler Group.

Hans-Christian Maaß, long-standing head of the Berlin representative office, has retired. He had overseen the Berlin office since 2015 as the authorised representative of the management board. His successor will be announced shortly.