ZF CEO Dr. Stefan Sommer Photo by Jim Park

ZF CEO Dr. Stefan Sommer Photo by Jim Park

AACHEN/FRIEDRICHSHAFEN, GERMANY -- The Supervisory Board of ZF Friedrichshafen AG confirmed the contract extension of CEO Dr. Stefan Sommer for another five years, a position he has held since May 2012. The move paves the way for ZF to implement five strategic goals laid out in its Strategy 2025 plan.

ZF says it aims to shape mobility with groundbreaking technologies in the areas of safety, efficiency and automated driving. In order to achieve this, ZF has defined five strategic goals which will be the focus of its operation in the coming years. They are:

  • Balanced market penetration
  • Innovation and cost leadership
  • Diversified product portfolio
  • Financial independence
  • Globally attractive employer

"I am particularly delighted that our Supervisory Board members endorsed our CEO so strongly," says Dr. Giorgio Behr, Chairman of the ZF Supervisory Board. "In the course of the last years, under Dr. Sommer's leadership, ZF's Board of Management successfully prepared the company to adapt to the changing automotive industry and mobility landscape."

Sommer's contract extension is widely viewed as a positive step in positioning ZF as a market leader in emerging safety technology and autonomous vehicle operation.

ZF and TRW signed a merger agreement for the acquisition of TRW by ZF in September 2014. The agreement was subject to a number of closing conditions which were met in May 2015, including the approval by TRW stockholders and antitrust clearances in various countries and regions such as the U.S., China, and the EU.

"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," says Dr. Joachim Meinecke, representative of the Dr. Jurgen and Irmgard Ulderup Foundation.

ZF aims to be a key technology player in the areas of safety, efficiency and automated driving. Photo by ZF

ZF aims to be a key technology player in the areas of safety, efficiency and automated driving. Photo by ZF

The announcement comes on the heels of the company's scheduled debt relief and the integration with TRW. According to Sommer, the change processes initiated will make ZF fit for the future, a future primarily driven by safety, efficiency and automated driving.

"Today, we are generating the economic and technological prerequisites to ensure ZF's long-term success and profitable growth," he said in a statement. "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."