Holger Klein appointed chairman and CEO of ZF Friedrichshafen AG

July 12, 2022

Dr Holger Klein has been appointed at the new chairman and CEO of ZF Friedrichshafen AG (Courtesy ZF Group)
Dr Holger Klein has been appointed at the new chairman and CEO of ZF Friedrichshafen AG (Courtesy ZF Group)

ZF Group, headquartered in Friedrichshafen, Germany, has appointed Dr Holger Klein as chairman and CEO of ZF Friedrichshafen AG. Klein, who is also a member of the board of management responsible for the Asia-Pacific region, Car Chassis Technology Division, Aftermarket and Production, succeeds Wolf-Henning Scheider and will assume the role from January 1, 2023.

Additionally, Dr Peter Laier will join the board of management to lead the Commercial Vehicle Solutions (CVS) and Industrial Technology divisions succeeding Wilhelm Rehm. Dr Konstantin Sauer, Chief Financial Officer will also leave the company by the end of 2022 with his supervisory board position expected to be filled in due course.

Dr Klein joined ZF in 2014 as an international industry expert from McKinsey management consultancy. In 2015, he led the integration of US company TRW Automotive post-acquisition. He became Head of the Car Chassis Technology Division in 2017 and became In early 2017, 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.

Klein also 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. He succeeded in positioning ZF increasingly as a systems provider and implemented the creation of new development centres and production facilities, especially in China, to capitalise on rapid technological change and enable ZF’s business expansion.

“The almost simultaneous end of three appointments of proven, successful, and highly esteemed board members poses a particular challenge for the company,” stated Dr 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.”

“As a board member, Dr Holger Klein was intimately involved in the strategic planning process for the coming years. Therefore, he will dynamically continue the successful transformation at ZF and add his own impulses,” Hiesinger stated.

Laier has a PhD 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, 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.

Hiesinger added, “Dr Peter Laier brings many years of industry experience, expertise in the automotive supply industry, and a global commercial vehicle company.”


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