Mercedes-Benz USA’s new president and CEO starting next year is Steve Cannon who gets a promotion from being marketing chief. Cannon has held the position of vice president of marketing for Mercedes-Benz USA since June 2007. Cannon, 50 years old, is the replacement for Ernst Lieb, who was abruptly terminated last October over a claim that he misused company funds.
A company spokesman said that Cannon is just the second American to be named CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA. The first is Mike Jackson who currently serves as the CEO of AutoNation Inc.
While the position was vacant, the automaker assigned Herbert Werner as interim CEO. Werner is Mercedes-Benz USA’s vice president of finance and is the only German on its U.S. executive team.
Cannon will be responsible for the Mercedes-Benz, Maybach, Sprinter and smart brands in the U.S. He will be reporting to Joachim Schmidt, the executive vice president of sales and marketing for Mercedes-Benz Cars. In 1991, Cannon’s automotive career began by working as the executive assistant to the president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz of North America.
He then moved to the company’s global headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany. He later joined a small team that developed, manufactured, and launched the M-Class. This is the first Mercedes-Benz SUV that was built in the U.S. for the same market. Many dealers welcomed the appointment of Cannon.
Michael Cantanucci, chairman of the Mercedes-Benz dealer board and president of New Country Motor Car Group based in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., was one of those who were “pleased” with Cannon’s promotion. Cantanucci said that Cannon helped in the company’s success and is extremely knowledgeable about Mercedes USA, the dealer body, the market and the products.