Daimler research chief to take top job in 2019

Time 9:51 am, September 27, 2018

DAIMLER research chief Ola Kaellenius will be the first non-German to become CEO of the company.

Dieter Zetsche has been CEO of the company for 12 years and will step down in May 2019, a year earlier than expected. He will take over as Daimler’s chairman from Manfred Bischoff in 2021.

Swedish Kaellenius joined Daimler in 1993 as a trainee and became a management board member for Mercedes-Benz Cars Marketing and Sales in 2015, having worked in corporate controlling in Alabama for Mercedes-Benz previously as well as Mercedes-AMG.

However, Kaellenius’ background doesn’t include an educational background in mechanical engineering – another first for a Daimler CEO.

Instead, the current head of group research and Mercedes-Benz cars development is expected to steer the company into a technologically advanced future and help the business compete with emerging mobility companies.

Already he has encouraged a move away from strict hierarchies and more experimental approaches to planning and products.

Daimler’s current chairman Bischoff said in a statement: ‘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 Kaellenius, we are appointing a recognized, internationally experienced and successful Daimler executive.’

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Rebecca Chaplin's avatar

Rebecca has been a motoring and business journalist since 2014, previously writing and presenting for titles such as the Press Association, Auto Express and Car Buyer. She has worked in many roles for Car Dealer Magazine’s publisher Blackball Media including head of editorial.

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