Holger Klein has been appointed Chairman and CEO of ZF Friedrichshafen AG at the turn of the year 2022/2023. At the same time, Peter Laier will join the Board of Management to lead the Commercial Vehicle Solutions (CVS) and Industrial Technology divisions succeeding Wilhelm Rehm. ZF Chief Financial Officer Dr. Konstantin Sauer will leave the company by the end of 2022.

Currently Holger Klein holds the position of Member of the Board of Management responsible for the Asia-Pacific region, Car Chassis Technology Division, Aftermarket and Production. He succeeds Wolf-Henning Scheider at the helm of the company.

Holger Klein appointed CEO of ZF

Holger Klein joined ZF in 2014 as a seasoned international industry expert from McKinsey management consultancy. Starting in 2015, he led the integration of U.S. company TRW Automotive post-acquisition, which he completed earlier than planned.

In early 2017, Klein became Head of the Car Chassis Technology Division and realigned its product range with ZF’s “Next Generation Mobility” strategy. He has served as a member of the ZF Board of Management since 2018 and heads the Asia-Pacific and India regions from Shanghai. In addition, he manages the business of the Passenger Car Chassis Technology and Aftermarket divisions and is responsible for ZF’s worldwide production. Under his leadership, ZF won traditional and new automotive OEMs in Asia as customers of ZF’s strategic and future-oriented products. In addition, he succeeded in positioning ZF increasingly as a systems provider. Holger Klein spearheaded the creation of new development centers and production facilities, especially in China, to capitalize on rapid technological change and enable ZF’s business expansion.

Peter Laier to lead ZF Commercial Vehicle Solutions division

The Supervisory Board has appointed Peter Laier to the ZF Board of Management to succeed Wilhelm Rehm and to lead ZF’s Commercial Vehicle Solutions and Industrial Technology divisions. The 54-year-old holds a Ph.D. in engineering and held various executive roles at well-known industrial companies such as Continental and Benteler before joining Knorr-Bremse in 2016, where he led the commercial vehicle division until 2021.

From January 1, 2023, Peter Laier will lead the business of the Commercial Vehicle Solutions Division of ZF, the world’s largest supplier to the commercial vehicle industry, as a member of the ZF Board of Management.

“The almost simultaneous end of three appointments of proven, successful, and highly esteemed board members poses a particular challenge for the company,” says Heinrich Hiesinger, Chairman of ZF’s Supervisory Board. “We are, therefore, very pleased to announce two successors today. The succession process for Dr. Sauer is already in an advanced stage.”

“ZF is undergoing an unprecedented, dynamic transformation. The appointment of Holger Klein as the new Chairman is an excellent and important signal both internally and externally,” says Andreas Brand as a representative of the Zeppelin Foundation of the City of Friedrichshafen, which holds 93.8 percent of all ZF shares. Representing the Dr. Jürgen and Irmgard Ulderup Foundation, which holds a 6.2 percent stake in ZF, Dr. Joachim Meinecke emphasizes: “Dr. Klein possesses the best prerequisites, knows the company, its customers and suppliers, the industry and, above all, the challenges which need to be mastered today and in the future.”


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