The prodigal son returns. As with the Biblical parable, a well-loved son (ably played in real life by Wolfgang Bernhard) leaves the comfort of home (Bernhard previously served as Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche's second in command) and embarks on a journey away from his family.

Unlike our age-old story, though, Bernhard didn't exactly fall on hard times away from the loving care of this father. In fact, Bernhard served as chairman at Volkswagen between 2005 and 2007 before returning to Daimler in February of 2009 to lead its van business. Not the hero's welcome our Biblical character got when he finally ventured back home – at least not right away.

According to an Automotive News report, Bernhard will now serve as the executive board member responsible for production and procurement for Mercedes-Benz, though the company is reportedly still figuring out what exact role and title Bernhard will command. Rainer Schmueckle, the man who currently holds the spot Bernhard will be inheriting, is in "negotiations" with the automaker.

[Source: Automotive News – Sub. Req'd]