Things have been far more stable at Daimler, but even that company is not without its changes. At the same time as confirming Zetsche's retention, the automaker announced that its longtime head of research and development Dr. Thomas Weber (pictured above, left) is stepping down at the end of the year. In his place, Daimler has named Ola Källenius (above, right), who currently runs the company's sales and marketing department, and previous headed up the AMG performance division and the manufacturing operation in Tuscaloosa, AL. The company says that a new sales and marketing chief will be named in due course to replace Källenius.
The vote of confidence for Zetsche comes at a time of upheaval in the top ranks at other German automakers. A little over a year ago, BMW named Harald Krüger as CEO and moved his predecessor, Norbert Reithofer, to chairman of the board. Even bigger, however, have been the shifts at Volkswagen. The group first saw the ousting of its longtime chairman Ferdinand Piëch, and then the resignation of its chief executive Martin Winterkorn in the wake of the diesel emissions scandal. Winterkorn's departure kicked off a wave of reassignments, with Porsche chief Matthias Müller named his successor and Oliver Blume appointed head of Porsche in his place. Numerous other changes were made in the group's top leadership as well.
Stuttgart, Feb 16, 2016
- Contract Extension until December 31, 2019
- Manfred Bischoff, Chairman of the Supervisory Board: "Daimler is more successful than ever. This proves that Dieter Zetsche pursues and implements the right strategy not only aligned with the supervisory board. He also can inspire Daimler's employees for the demanding goals of the group. With the contract extension we are securing the continuity at the top needed for sustainable success."
In its meeting today, the Supervisory Board of Daimler AG extended the contract of Dieter Zetsche (62) by three years until December 31, 2019. He will remain Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars until that date.
"Daimler is more successful than ever. This proves that Dieter Zetsche pursues and implements the right strategy not only aligned with the supervisory board. He also can make employees enthusiastic for the demanding targets of the group. With the contract extension we are securing the continuity at the top needed for sustainable success", said Manfred Bischoff, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Daimler AG. "We are looking forward to continuing the excellent collaboration with Dieter Zetsche."
Dieter Zetsche has been a member of the Board of Management since December 16, 1998 and Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG since January 1, 2006. In addition, he is Head of the Mercedes-Benz Cars Division. The contract of Dieter Zetsche would have run out on December 31, 2016. Manfred Bischoff, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, had already announced that the Supervisory Board would like to extend Dieter Zetsche's contract at the Annual Shareholders Meeting on April 1, 2015.
Supervisory Board appoints Ola Källenius as Member of the Board of Management for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development
Stuttgart, Feb 16, 2016
- Professor Dr. Thomas Weber leaving Daimler AG at the end of his contract on December 31, 2016
- Ola Källenius to take on new function at the Board of Management as of January 1, 2017
- Successor of Ola Källenius will be chosen in 2016
In its meeting today, the Supervisory Board of Daimler AG appointed Ola Källenius (46) as member of the Board of Management responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development effective from January 1, 2017. He will succeed Professor Dr. Thomas Weber (61), who will leave the company when his contract expires on December 31, 2016 by mutual agreement and at his own request. He will continue to assist the company in an advisory capacity. Källenius is currently responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars Marketing & Sales in the Board of Management.
"Research and Development are two key fields in the automotive industry for maintaining a lasting top position. With Ola Källenius we are appointing an experienced board colleague with extensive expertise in the passenger car business as Board of Management member for Research & Development. At the same time, we are positioning the Board of Management to be younger and more international", said Manfred Bischoff, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Daimler AG. "With his sound business education and numerous technical positions within the group, Ola Källenius has the expertise required for anchoring and further expanding Daimler's position as technology leader."
Ola Källenius has been a member of the Board of Management at Daimler AG since January 1, 2015 and is responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars Marketing & Sales. The Swedish-born manager joined the company in 1993 and has run through various stations within the group since that time. Prior to his appointment to the Board of Management of Daimler AG, he was Chief Executive Officer of Mercedes-AMG GmbH as well as President & CEO of Mercedes-Benz U.S. International Inc., Tuscaloosa (USA).
"Thomas Weber has shaped Research & Development at Daimler, and primarily at Mercedes-Benz Cars, for more than thirteen years. During this period, he laid important foundations, has renewed the entire product portfolio of passenger cars, and has prepared the company for the future of mobility. He has thus played a major role in the present success of Mercedes-Benz Cars. We thank him very much for this", said Manfred Bischoff.
Professor Dr. Thomas Weber has been a member of the Board of Management since January 1, 2003 and has been responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development since January 2004.