Aachen/Friedrichshafen. Enacted today, the Supervisory Board of ZF Friedrichshafen AG confirmed the extension of Dr. Stefan Sommer's CEO contract for another five years. Thus, it paved the way for sustainably implementing the ZF Strategy 2025.
"I am particularly delighted that our Supervisory Board members endorsed our CEO so strongly," stated Prof. Dr. Giorgio Behr, Chairman of the ZF Supervisory Board. "In the course of the last years, under the umbrella of Dr. Stefan Sommer, ZF's Board of Management successfully prepared the company to adapt to the changing automotive industry and mobility landscape. Here, the acquisition of TRW was the strategic masterpiece per se. Now it is about consistently pushing the ZF Strategy 2025. Thanks to our decision today, the Supervisory Board laid the ground for this undertaking."
Moreover, a clear message was conveyed by the two shareholder representatives stating that the CEO's confirmation is a significant step toward building a bright future for ZF. "We are looking very much forward to the continued cooperation with Dr. Stefan Sommer", said Andreas Brand, First Mayor of the city of Friedrichshafen and member of the Supervisory Board, and Dr. Joachim Meinecke, representative of the Dr. Jürgen and Irmgard Ulderup Foundation. "He gave fresh momentum to the company's business and is now driving the ZF & TRW integration process. Furthermore, he sets the course for future ZF innovations."
Frank Iwer, Vice-Chairman of the Supervisory Board and Trade Union Secretary of IG Metall, commented: "We are convinced that ZF is strategically on the right track, thanks to Stefan Sommer's outstanding commitment. The challenge is now to continue this journey with confidence and trust in the future, mutual respect, solidarity and social responsibility. The vital issue at stake: all locations and employees have to find their own place within this tremendously changing company. "
Against the backdrop of the company's scheduled debt relief and TRW integration, Dr. Sommer explained: "The change processes initiated will make ZF fit for the future. A future that is primarily driven by the megatrends of safety, efficiency and automated driving. Today, we are generating the economic and technological prerequisites to ensure ZF's long-term success and profitable growth. Here, the foundational structure enables us to plan and act for the long run. We can benefit from our organizational roots which is in the vital interest of our company and its workforce."
Dr. Stefan Sommer has been Chief Executive Officer of ZF Friedrichshafen AG since May 2012. In mid-2008, Dr. Sommer started at ZF Sachs AG where he was appointed Head of the Suspension Division. Then, in October 2010, ZF's Supervisory Board nominated him member of the Board of Management responsible for Materials Management. Prior to his ZF career, he held several management positions at automobile suppliers, e.g. at ITT Automotive and Continental.