AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Robert (Bob) Lee will take over as the new president of Continental North America. He succeeds Jeff Klei, who will retire after serving more than 30 years in the industry. Lee will be responsible for leading customer, governmental and other external relationships across the region.
“It’s been an honor to work alongside Jeff for all these years. His expertise has been invaluable to our growth. We wouldn’t be where we are today without him and we all want to congratulate him on a wonderful career,” said Samir Salman, CEO of Continental North America. “Bob has exhibited exceptional leadership and innovative thinking throughout his career. We’re excited to see how he can help us build an even better future.”
Lee first joined the company in 2014 as the president and CEO of Continental Automotive Korea, where he led overall operations in the country. Lee is a veteran of the industry with a proven record of success.
Prior to joining Continental, he held various executive leadership positions in the automotive and technology industry. Among those, he served as the president and CEO of SK Continental E-motion, a joint venture global automotive battery system company formed by Continental and SK Innovation.
“It’s a special time for Continental as we build toward the future and continue to develop innovative, unique solutions in the technology space,” said Lee. “It’s been a thrill to dive in with the team here and I look forward to seeing what new opportunities we can tackle together to grow further. I’m thankful for the opportunity to learn alongside Jeff and congratulate him on a long, successful career.”
Salman added that it is a well-deserved retirement for Klei, who has been with the company for more than 30 years, including nearly 12 years as the president of Continental North America.
Klei began his career with ITT Automotive in 1989. He joined Continental Teves as the head of Sales and Marketing, North America when Continental acquired ITT Automotive’s Brake and Chassis unit in 1998. He was appointed as the president of Continental North America in 2008. During his time in the position, he also retained responsibilities as the Vice President of Sales, General Motors Worldwide.