Friedrichshafen/Livonia. Dr. Franz Kleiner, appointed member of the ZF Board of Management for the Region of North America at the beginning of 2015, will take over as Head of the ZF Active and Passive Safety Technology division on September 01. In this division, ZF continues the entire business activities of TRW Automotive, which was acquired in the middle of May 2015. John C. Plant, long-standing CEO of TRW, will hand over the management of the company to Dr. Kleiner, but will remain with ZF as an advisor until the end of 2015.
"Dr. Franz Kleiner fulfills all prerequisites for the challenging task of managing the largest of ZF's divisions," says ZF CEO Dr. Stefan Sommer regarding the changeover. "He has integration experience, is well acquainted with ZF as well as with the U.S. market, and, having worked for German and American companies for many years, has a lot of intercultural competence."
After successfully completing his PhD at the University of Stuttgart and holding various management functions in planning and controlling at the former Daimler Benz AG, 55-year-old Dr. Franz Kleiner joined the German subsidiary of the Canadian telecommunications supplier Nortel Networks in 1997. At Nortel Networks, Dr. Kleiner was appointed CFO in 2002; in 2006, he joined the ZF Group. Here, he worked for four years as General Manager Finance at the former ZF Lemforder Corporation in Northville, Michigan, USA. As of 2010, Dr. Kleiner was employed in this capacity at ZF in Dielingen and as of 2011, he took over responsibility for Finance and HR in Passau. In the spring of 2013, he was appointed Head of ZF's Industrial Technology division.
"I would like to thank John C. Plant warmly for the trusting partnership we have had since the beginning of the acquisition phase in the spring of 2014 – and also for his openness in preparing his successor Franz Kleiner for the new task over the past few months," says Dr. Sommer. "I am pleased that John C. Plant will remain with ZF as an advisor until the end of 2015; his long-standing experience as the CEO of TRW, which flourished under his leadership, and his excellent knowledge of both market and customers are extremely valuable to us."
Before joining TRW Automotive, John C. Plant was Head of the electronics business of the American automotive supplier Lucas from 1991 to 1998. For the past eleven years, Plant was the CEO of the company TRW and led it to outstanding success thanks to remarkable growth.