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We knew that BMW chairman Helmut Panke would go "buh-bye" after his contract expires in 2007 due to BMW's policy to boot any leader over the age of 60, but we weren't sure who would take the helm. BMW has announced that the man for the job is Norbert Reithofer, who has been production manager since 2000. The 50 year-old German has been with BMW since 1987.

Automobilewoche says that BMW AG won't renew its chairman's contract past its end in 2007. It was recently reported that BMW would extend the contract of Dr. Helmut Panke, who turns 60 next year, to 2010; however, now it seems that BMW will go along with its customary practice of retiring its board members at 60.