Dieter Zetsche, longstanding chairman of Daimler hands over to his successor Ola Källenius
After more than 13 years as Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Dr. Dieter Zetsche has stepped down from his position. With effect at the end of a two-year cooling off period, the Supervisory Board intends to propose to the shareholders at the 2021 Annual Meeting that Zetsche be elected to the Supervisory Board.
“With Dieter Zetsche an exceptional executive is leaving. He has successfully led Daimler back to the top, also through difficult terrain. Together with the employees, he has pushed forward the company’s fundamental transformation. Under his leadership, Daimler has laid the foundation for a good future. He deserves our unqualified gratitude,” said Manfred Bischoff, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Daimler AG.
Zetsche began his career at Daimler in 1976 in the junior manager group and successfully held a number of management positions. With a doctorate in electrical engineering, he held management positions in the commercial vehicles business unit in Brazil, Argentina and the United States before being appointed in 1995 to the board of management of Mercedes-Benz AG as head of sales and then to the board of management of the commercial vehicles business unit. In 2000, he assumed responsibility for Chrysler as CEO and President until 2005, when he became Head of the Mercedes-Benz Car Group. In 2006, he was appointed as CEO of Daimler AG.
Ola Källenius took over from Zetsche as Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars.
“With Ola Källenius, we have appointed a recognized, internationally experienced and successful executive from within the Group, who can also inspire people for a cause, as Chairman of the Board of Management and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars. At the same time, we are relying on the proven dual responsibility with the Chairman of the Board of Management also heading Daimler’s largest division,” said Bischoff.
Källenius joined the Group in 1995 and, after holding several national and international management functions, was appointed as a member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG with responsibility for Mercedes-Benz Cars Marketing and Sales effective as of January 2015. In January 2017, he took over responsibility for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development.
Markus Schäfer succeeds Källenius in the Daimler Board of Management. He is responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development. Schäfer will also be responsible for procurement and supplier quality at Mercedes-Benz Cars.