There will be a major shakeup at German group Daimler AG involving its Supervisory and Management Boards. In particular, it involves Dieter Zetsche, the chairman of the Daimler’s Board of Management and the chief executive of Mercedes-Benz Cars.
Zetsche has been a member of the Board of Management at Daimler AG since December 1998, and has been its chairman since January 2006. He will be stepping down from these capacities, including as Head of Mercedes car, at the end of Daimler AG’s annual shareholders’ meeting in 2019. This, however, doesn’t mean that Zetsche is quitting Daimler; he is just being prepared to take a new position.
Currently, the Daimler’s Supervisory Board is led by Manfred Bischoff, its current Chairman. His term is set to expire at the end of the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting in 2021. Bischoff has been holding this post since April 2007. As preparation for Bischoff’s exit from the Supervisory Board, Daimler is already preparing a succession process this early.
Daimler is grooming Zetsche to replace Bischoff as the chairman of the Supervisory Board. However, Daimler has a two-year cooling-off period. This means that Zetsche has to step down from his current roles at Daimler before becoming a part of the Supervisory board. After stepping down as chairman of the Daimler’s Board of Management and head of Mercedes-Benz Cars after the annual shareholders’ meeting in 2019, Zetsche will enter a cooling-off period until is appointed as chairman of the Supervisory Board.
At the annual shareholders’ meeting in 2021, Daimler’s Supervisory Board will propose to have Zetsche be elected as a member of the Supervisory Board. Once Zetsche becomes a member of the Supervisory Board, Bischoff will recommend his election as his successor as the chairman.
With Zetsche set to relinquish his role as chairman of the Board of Management and head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, the Supervisory Board has already appointed Ola Kallenius to replace him. Kallenius has been a member of the Board of Management since January 2015, and has been in charge of Group Research & Mercedes-Benz Cars Development since January 2017. Kallenius was the former head of Mercedes-AMG, which is the performance arm of Mercedes. Kallenius will serve for five years in his new capacity, which would commence as soon as Zetsche steps down after the annual shareholders’ meeting in 2019.
Taking over at the same as in charge of the Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development is Markus Schafer, effectively succeeding Kallenius. Schafer has been a member of the divisional board of management of Mercedes-Benz Cars in January 2014, with his main responsibility focused on Production and Supply Chain Management.