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      June 26, 2024

      Let’s impress: two central minds of integration

      Francesco Monaco

      My name is Francesco Monaco, Head of FiCo EMEA 3, and located in Italy. I am new to Continental due to the merger of Continental and Trelleborg Printing Solutions in May 2023. 
      As part of the integration process of Trelleborg's printing business into our Surface Solutions business area, my role was to coordinate the Finance and Controlling departments in collaboration with Marcus Lehmann to ensure a smooth transition from the old to the new environment and avoid business interruption. 
      Changing habits, work routine and opening up to a new culture are always big challenges. In my opinion, it is even more complex when you are integrated into a larger, structured “family". I have to say, apart from the initial adjustment phase, the involved teams perceived this challenge as a constructive opportunity to learn from each other. I am very proud of the teams’ enthusiasm and attitude which was an important step to our future success within Continental. The overall performance exceeded my expectations by far and enabled us to achieve our integration goals in time and with good quality. I can assure that Marcus was a key person in making our sub project targets a success. He proactively shared his knowledge and competences. His ability to immediately catch the point, listen actively, and make every task easy to be achieved, was also very impressive. He has a strong capability to plan and to act result orientated and is able to differentiate the communication within the organization levels.

      Marcus managed the project with high professionalism and enthusiasm. He opened up all internal channels within the Continental Group for me and the project teams and took on the role of facilitator – the perfect connection between the Continental organization and the new company to be integrated. I really enjoyed working with him. Overall, I believe that the open interaction between all participants has created the right spirit of collaboration and built the basis of real trust, which will also benefit us in all future challenges.

      Looking back on my first year at Continental, I can really say that I experienced a supportive work environment which was driven by Continental’s core value trust. I appreciate the transparent and pleasant atmosphere and the open exchange of ideas and opinions. I also like the extensive intranet, the communication and learning tools and the applications that enable quick and easy interaction with colleagues – an important step in the digitalization process.

      Marcus Lehmann

      Like Francesco, I was responsible for the integration of the Finance and Controlling departments. I am the Head of Segment Controlling LivTec and already with Continental for more than ten years. Together we were also in charge of the integration for the central functions such as Intellectual Property, Insurance, Compliance, Treasury and Corporate Real Estate Management. The main task here was to bring our internal experts together with the new colleagues in order to ensure a good collaboration and a clear understanding of the necessary integration steps.

      My biggest challenge in the integration process was the first month after the closing. The Finance and Controlling department is very straight forward when it comes to month-end reporting and does not allow much time to get to know each other. Everything had to be well prepared and in perfect order across all companies globally to meet the deadline.
      To meet those challenges, we took a structured approach – not only in the first month but during the entire integration project. There was a kick-off meeting to align on the specific integration tasks and then bi-weekly or monthly team meetings were held to track the progress of our tasks. Many bilateral consultations have also ensured a common understanding, especially with Francesco. He is a very charismatic person. I enjoyed working with him on this exciting integration task from the very first day. He is an excellent moderator who facilitates change step by step by involving old and new colleagues. Due to his international way of working and his extensive experience, he was able to proactively recognize problems before they occurred and to develop solutions together with the team.
      One of my personal learning nuggets by the way was not to drink coffee with milk after breakfast 😅 Italian hospitality and welcoming culture was just great and is a global role model how to treat people – Not only in an integration.

      Let's impress has once again shown me that integrating a company is an absolute team sport! Such global projects with high complexity can only be successful by having a great collaborating team and bringing the experts together. Very beneficial was thinking and acting globally by using our worldwide network in Continental: Bringing the new colleagues together with local Continental people is the best way to integrate. 

      Francesco Monaco

      Head of FiCo EMEA 3

      Marcus Lehmann

      Head of Segment Controlling LivTec