Daimler’s chief executive is standing down more than a year before his contract expires.
Dieter Zetsche will leave his post early in order to comply with a two-year cooling-off period before he can take up the role of supervisory board chairman at the car manufacturer in 2021.
Swede Ola Kaellenius will become chief exec from next year, once Zetsche steps down after the Mercedes-Benz maker’s annual general meeting (AGM) in 2019, ending 13 years in charge of the firm.
He will replace outgoing chairman Manfred Bischoff, who will step aside in 2021.
“Zetsche has played a key role in shaping Daimler AG and has ensured its strategically outstanding positioning for the mobility of the future,” Bischoff said.
“His expertise and experience are extremely valuable for our company. 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.”
On the new chief executive, Bischoff added: “We are appointing a recognised, 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.”