Elke Strathmann has been named the new human resources head at Continental, the second biggest supplier in Europe. She will be replacing Heinz-Gerhard Wente, who will be the head of the ContiTech division with responsibility for corporate purchasing. Strathmann is the first woman to join the board of Continental.
She has signed a three-year contract and is set to begin her duties in the first quarter of 2012. Wolfgang Reitzle, the company chairman, disclosed that Strathmann is taking over human resources at a time when Continental has ambitious goals, adding that it is vital for Continental to find the best talents worldwide "now more than ever."
CEO Elmar Degenhart informed Automotive News Europe in an interview earlier this year that the company hopes to grow stronger than the global market in all five of its business units. It also hopes to boost its 160,000 worldwide headcount to meet demand. Prior to Continental, Strathmann worked as the personnel chief for the German operations of Nestle, the biggest food company in the world.
In 1983, her career started at Procter & Gamble. She had also worked for Johnson & Johnson prior to joining Nestle in 2004. On another note, the supervisory board of Continental has extended the contracts of three executive board members to another five years. The members are Ralf Cramer from the chassis and safety division, Helmut Matschi from interior division, and Nikolai Setzer from tires division. The contract for Wente was extended by two years.