Mercedes-Benz is shifting some of their management, resulting in an intriguing game of musical chairs. The principal appointment has Volker Mornhinweg (pictured above left) leaving his position as head of the AMG performance arm to take control of Mercedes-Benz' van division. While seemingly a strange or unfortunate move for Mornhinweg on paper, the van division is very important to the company, and further, Daimler has a history of cycling rising executive stars through different branches in the company in order to give them a good "10,000 foot view" of the firm's operations – exactly the sort of experience that would be useful in one's future board members, say.
Of course, the butterfly effect of an appointment like that within such a hierarchical organization as Daimler AG results in endless ripples in the proverbial pond: Someone has to vacate his position to make room, and another has to take the vacated position, which in turn leaves another position open and so on and so forth. In this case, the announcement includes two other shifts in senior personnel. On the one hand, you have Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard, outgoing van guru, who moves up to the management board of Daimler AG and will oversee Mornhinweg's work.
Meanwhile, to succeed Mornhinweg at the head of AMG, Daimler has appointed Ola Kaellenius (pictured above right). With experience in Mercedes' F1 racing program, Swedish-born Kaellenius might be an ideal candidate to take up the reins at Mercedes-Benz AMG GmbH while the division's portfolio shifts away from big engines to smaller and more efficient, but no less powerful units. But wait a second, what was Kaellenius doing until now? He was running the company's plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where Mercedes assembles the M, R and GL-Class crossovers.
So who will take over at MBUSI, as the plant is known? As if to still the waters, Mercedes has yet to announce that appointment. But of course it's only a matter of time. Full details in the press release after the jump. Top tip, Oliver!
Ola Kaellenius to succeed Volker Mornhinweg as Managing Director of Mercedes-AMG GmbH
STUTTGART, Germany, March 19, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- The Board of Management of Daimler AG /quotes/comstock/13*!dai/quotes/nls/dai (DAI 46.70, -0.51, -1.08%) has made the following personnel decisions: Volker Mornhinweg (50), currently managing director of Mercedes-AMG GmbH in Affalterbach, Germany, will take over as head of the Mercedes-Benz Vans division effective April 1, 2010. He is succeeding Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard, who was appointed as a Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG in February 2010. In his new position, Mornhinweg will report to Dr. Bernhard.
After completing his apprenticeship, which he started at Daimler-Benz in 1980, he went on to complete his degree in precision engineering at the University of Applied Sciences in Esslingen, Germany. Subsequently, he took over various executive assignments in the group, such as in advanced prototyping, product preparation and product planning. Before taking over as managing director of Mercedes-AMG, he was plant manager of the Mercedes-Benz plant in Berlin and thereafter, head of executive management development for the group.
Ola Kaellenius (40), most recently plant manager of the Mercedes-Benz plant in Tuscaloosa (USA), will take over from Mr. Mornhinweg as managing director of Mercedes-Benz AMG GmbH also effective April 1, 2010. Kaellenius previously was head of Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines Ltd. in Brixworth, Great Britain and worked at McLaren Automotive. In Stuttgart, he subsequently worked as Senior Manager in engine and exhaust management, among other positions. Kaellenius, born in Sweden, started his career at the former DaimlerChrysler AG 1995 at the Mercedes-Benz Tuscaloosa plant in the division planning and reporting. He completed his studies at the Stockholm School of Economics with a Master's degree.
A successor to Ola Kaellenius will be decided on and announced in the near future.
Daimler AG is one of the world's most successful automotive companies. With its divisions Mercedes-Benz Cars, Daimler Trucks, Mercedes-Benz Vans, Daimler Buses and Daimler Financial Services, the Daimler Group is one of the biggest producers of premium cars and the world's biggest manufacturer of commercial vehicles with a global reach. Daimler Financial Services provides its customers with a full range of automotive financial services including financing, leasing, insurance and fleet management.
The company's founders, Gottlieb Daimler and Carl Benz, made history with the invention of the automobile in the year 1886. As an automotive pioneer, Daimler continues to shape the future of mobility. The Group applies innovative and green technologies to produce safe and superior vehicles which fascinate and delight its customers. With the development of alternative drive systems, Daimler is the only vehicle producer investing in hybrid drive, electric motors and fuel-cell systems, with the goal of achieving emission-free mobility in the long term. This is just one example of how Daimler willingly accepts the challenge of meeting its responsibility towards society and the environment.
Daimler sells its vehicles and services in nearly all the countries of the world and has production facilities on five continents. Its current brand portfolio includes, in addition to the world's most valuable automotive brand, Mercedes-Benz, the brands smart, Maybach, Freightliner, Western Star, Fuso, Setra, Orion and Thomas Built Buses. The company is listed on the stock exchanges of Frankfurt, New York and Stuttgart (stock exchange symbol DAI). In 2009, the Group sold 1.6 million vehicles and employed a workforce of more than 256,000 people; revenue totaled euro 78.9 billion and EBIT amounted minus euro 1.5 billion.