Dr Dieter Zetsche will be succeeded by Ola Kallenius, who currently heads the research and development at Daimler and Mercedes-Benz brands.
2019 will witness a major change in leadership at Daimler as the group’s current chairman and CEO, Dr Dieter Zetsche, will step down from his position. Zetsche will be replaced by Ola Kallenius, who's currently heading the research and development division at Daimler and Mercedes-Benz.
Zetsche, 65, has been at the helm of Daimler since 2006. After leading the group for 12 years, Zetsche will be headed for a temporary retirement – he’ll be away for two years and will come back as chairman of Daimler’s supervisory board in 2021. On his comeback, he’ll be replacing Manfred Bischoff, who currently holds the position.
Coming back to the newly appointed CEO, Kallenius is a 49-year old Swede, and he’s going to be the first head of Daimler who doesn’t hail from Germany. Surprisingly, he doesn’t have an engineering background – he’s a financer instead. As for his past projects, he has worked closely with McLaren Automotive during the time Daimler was a stakeholder in the British brand. His recent work includes projects in Mercedes-AMG.
Commenting on the development, Manfred Bischoff, current chairman of the supervisory board of Daimler, said: “As a long-standing member of the Board of Management and Chairman of the Board of Management, Dieter Zetsche has played a key role in shaping Daimler AG and has ensured its strategically outstanding positioning for the mobility of the future. His expertise and experience are extremely valuable for our company. Dieter Zetsche is predestined also to lead the company’s Supervisory Board prudently and successfully. As Chairman of the Board of Management, he has proven that he can lead Daimler AG also in difficult circumstances and can inspire employees to pursue ambitious goals. With Dieter Zetsche’s intended appointment as Chairman of the Supervisory Board, we are ensuring continuity for the sustained success of Daimler AG.
“In Ola Källenius, we are appointing a recognized, internationally experienced and successful Daimler executive as Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars. At the same time, we are relying on the proven dual responsibility of the Chairman of the Board of Management as the head of the largest division, Mercedes-Benz Cars,” he added.