"Hubertus von Gruenberg wants to make his chairmanship available at short notice," the board said in a statement, following a meeting to debate demands by Schaeffler, it principal shareholder, which had called for Gruenberg's departure on Tuesday.
Four people tapped by family-owned Schaeffler will join the supervisory board, including Schaeffler head Maria-Elisabeth Schaeffler, the statement said. The board "has agreed that Rolf Koerfer will run for the position of chairman" once the new members - who include Koerfer - are in place, it said.
The announcement came after months of clashes between the two companies. Both companies are facing a slowdown in demand due to the deepening crisis in the car industry worldwide.
In early January, Schaeffler wrapped up the takeover of much bigger Continental, with a 49.9 percent stake. It has pledged not to take a majority holding before 2012.