AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — John Sanderson has retired from Continental, effective June 1. Sanderson joined Continental in connection with Continental’s acquisition of Siemens VDO Automotive last fall, where he was president and CEO of the firm’s North American operations.
"John has played a critical role in making the speedy integration of the former Siemens VDO in to the Continental organization as seamless as possible," said Samir Salman, CEO of Continental — NAFTA Automotive. "Were it not for his leadership and teamwork, we would not be as far along with the NAFTA integration as we are. We are grateful for his help and support."
In his role as President and CEO of Siemens VDO Automotive Corp., a position he was appointed to in 2000, Sanderson had responsibility for Siemens VDO’s North and South American business and profitability initiatives. Sanderson worked closely with the worldwide Siemens VDO Managing Board to determine and implement company policy for the NAFTA marketplace and identify new business opportunities. Through a combination of organic growth and acquisitions, he led the group to a growth of sales from a base of $1 billion to $3.5 billion during the period of his leadership.
While with Continental, Sanderson had taken on a variety of assignments that facilitated the integration of North American automotive operations to form a powerhouse with more than 17,650 employees, 15 business units and 15 manufacturing plants in the United States, Canada and Mexico, with engineering centers in Illinois, Michigan, Alabama and Guadalajara, Mexico.
Sanderson began his career with Siemens in 1988, serving in various management positions, including business development, finance, manufacturing operations and strategic planning. In 1991 he was named director of marketing for the Air, Fuel and Emissions Components division of the company. Following that assignment, he was named vice president and account executive for two global key customer accounts — Ford Motor Co. in 1995, and two years later, accepting the leadership of the General Motors worldwide sales team. In 1999 he was named to lead the global product development, manufacturing and engineering of Siemens VDO’s Powertrain Gasoline Systems division.
Sanderson is a member of the Original Equipment Supplier Assoc. (OESA) Board of Directors, is on the executive board of the Detroit Economic Club and is a member of the Board of Directors for the Detroit Renaissance. He was named Automation Alley’s CEO of the Year in 2005, holds a B.S. and a M.B.A. from Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Va., and completed five years of military service with the United States Navy.