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Continental CFO won’t extend contract

Continental’s CFO, Katja Garcia Vila, will not extend her contract and plans to leave the auto supplier she joined nearly three decades ago.

Garcia Vila, 51, became CFO in December 2021 and will stay on until a successor has been found, the company said Monday. Her contract expires in December.

Continental is going through a major revamp to improve returns at its struggling auto unit, including more than 7,000 job cuts and site closures.

Garcia Vila is leaving “because of her own career planning,” the supplier said in a news release.

She started her career at Continental in 1997 and held positions in information technology, marketing, sales, logistics, auditing and purchasing before becoming head of systems and standards in corporate finance in 2008. She was named head of group audit worldwide in 2013, and in 2018 moved to the ContiTech business area as head of finance, controlling and IT. Garcia Vila was named CFO in December 2021 and joined the executive board.

“Katja Garcia Vila played a key role in developing the company’s strategy for realignment and launching it over the past year, thus laying the foundation for our successful future” CEO Nikolai Setzer said in the release.

Continental late last year detailed savings goals of around €400 million ($428 million) annually starting next year, including an indication the company would cut thousands of jobs.

Continental also outlined plans to reduce R&D spending to 9 percent of sales by 2028, from an expected 12 percent this year.

Under pressure to cut expenses while having to invest in new technologies, Continental has also started reviewing possible divestments, joint ventures and partnerships at the auto unit that has fallen behind peers.

Bloomberg contributed to this report