Mercedes-Benz USA is getting a new president and CEO. Starting January 1, Dietmar Exler will be taking the place of Stephen Cannon, who is leaving the company but will stay on as a consultant until the end of January to help with the transition.

Exler has served as vice president of sales for MBUSA since the beginning of 2014. He joined the company over a decade ago, and worked his way up through the ranks of Daimler's financial services divisions on both sides of the Atlantic. The 47-year-old Austrian holds a Master's degree from the University of Chicago and a doctorate (also in law) from Johannes Kepler University in Linz. He'll report to Ola Kaellenius, who heads up marketing and sales for Benz's passenger cars division.

His predecessor Stephen Cannon was appointed to the post at the start of 2012. The former Army Ranger started out as the executive assistant to the MBUSA CEO back in 1991. Though the company made no announcement of where Cannon will be headed next, lest you think that the longtime Connecticut resident's departure had something to do with the office's relocation to Georgia, Automotive News reports that his new job will be running the company that owns the Atlanta Falcons. Construction is currently underway on a new home for the NFL team, which will be known as Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

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Mercedes-Benz USA Announces Dietmar Exler As President And CEO
Stephen Cannon to Leave the Company January 31, 2016

ATLANTA, Dec. 21, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The Daimler Board of Management has appointed Dietmar Exler (47), to President and CEO of MBUSA and NAFTA effective January 1. The announcement was made by Ola Kaellenius, member of the board of management of Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz Cars Marketing & Sales, to whom Exler will report. Exler succeeds Stephen Cannon, who will leave the company. Cannon will remain as a consultant to MBUSA until January 31, 2016.

"Dietmar's appointment is central to reinforcing our strategy and our standards around the world, and will continue to strengthen the ties and collaboration within our marketing & sales network," said Ola Kaellenius, member of the board of management of Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz Cars Marketing & Sales. "I would like to thank Steve for his leadership and contributions to our success story in the U.S., and wish him all the best in the future."

In his new role, Exler assumes overall responsibility for Mercedes-Benz passenger cars and the smart brand for the U.S. and NAFTA regions. He leads MBUSA's more than 1,500 employees and 373 dealers throughout the U.S. as well as an additional 1,240 employees in Canada and Mexico. Exler became vice president, sales for MBUSA in January 2014. Exler's career spans nearly two decades with international business experience in various leadership roles. He began at McKinsey & Co. in 1997 as part of the financial interest group in their Germany office and later in their Midwest office, based out of Detroit, Mich. Five years later, Exler joined (then) DaimlerChrysler Financial as senior manager of program development and was promoted to vice president of marketing the same year.

In 2004, Exler became vice president of customer services for (then) DaimlerChrysler Financial Services in Farmington Hills, Mich., before transferring to Germany in 2005, where he served as chief operating officer of Daimler Financial Services Europe and member of the board at Mercedes-Benz Bank. Exler returned to the U.S. in 2010 after being appointed vice president for Mercedes-Benz Financial Services USA.

Originally from Austria, Exler studied at Johannes Kepler University in Linz, where he received his doctorate in law. He also holds a master of laws from the University of Chicago and currently resides in Brookhaven, GA.

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