MUNICH -- Former Volkswagen AG CEO Bernd Pischetsrieder is the favorite to head Continental AG's supervisory board, German magazine Der Spiegel reported.
The current head of Continental's supervisory board, Rolf Koerfer, has agreed to step down from his post as soon as a new finance chief for Continental is found.
Continental's unions feel Koerfer, who has close ties to Conti's largest shareholder Schaeffler Group, is not impartial enough for the job.
Der Spiegel said Pischetsrieder is Schaefflers second choice as Continentals new chairman after former BMW AG and Ford Motor Co. executive Wolfgang Reitzle turned down the position.
Reitzle was head of Ford's Premier Automotive Group overseeing Volvo, Jaguar, and Land Rover until 2002 when he left to become CEO of Linde Group, a German engineering and industrial gas company.
Other German media reports have speculated that former BMW CEO Helmut Panke was offered the Continental chairmanship.
Der Spiegel said the head of Germany's Commerzbank, Martin Blessing, helped find Pischetsrieder as a candidate as the bank is one of the largest lenders to Continental and Schaeffler Group, which controls some 90 percent of Continental.
Pischetsrieder was a member of the supervisory board of Dresdner Bank, which was taken over by Commerzbank, the magazine reported.
Munich-born Pischetsrieder was VW CEO from 2002 to 2006 and BMW CEO from 1993 to 1999.
Reuters contributed to this report