Bosch CEO to depart in management shake-up, reports say

According to Automobilwoche, Asenkerschbaumer’s successor as finance chief will be Markus Forschner, who was previously responsible for purchasing, logistics, commercial tasks and human resources at Bosch Rexroth.

Markus Heyn will replace Hartung, as head of Bosch’s mobility division. Heyn currently heads global sales and marketing for the mobility division.

The changes will be announced after the supplier’s supervisory board meets on Thursday, the report said. The Handelsblatt business paper and Manager Magazin also reported on the changes.

A Bosch spokesperson told Automotive News Europe that the company does not comment on speculation.

A source quoted in the Automobilwoche report said that while Denner was able to successfully focus on technologies like artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things, his personal communication skills were found lacking.

Harting, the source noted, was seen as more empathetic and able to explain tough decisions to employees in a comprehensible way. That skill will be important to a company facing a fundamental transformation over the next few years.

This transformation has the potential to impact the more than 80,000 workers involved in powertrain production, many of which could be at risk as the company’s focus shifts to other areas.

Suppliers are trying to evolve their businesses from traditional parts to software-centric systems that enable connectivity, autonomy, infotainment and safety features. Bosch and rival Continental are currently battling to supply the brains for connected cars.

Earlier this month, Bosch opened a 1-billion-euro ($1.2 billion) chip plant in Germany, a record investment by the supplier as it gears up for the latest electric and self-driving cars.

Bosch is ranked at No. 1 on the Automotive News list of the top 100 global suppliers, with worldwide parts sales to automakers of $46.56 billion in 2019.

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