Daimler keeps Zetsche as CEO for another three years image

Any successor plans at the world’s third largest luxury automaker and the biggest truck maker need to be postponed a few years, with the company announcing that Dieter Zetsche’s contract would be extended for another three years.

With supervisory board chairman Manfred Bischoff already telling shareholders during the firm’s annual shareholders meeting in Berlin he was favoring the current chief executive for another three year term, the supervisory board’s formal appointment proved a formality. Thus, chief executive officer Dieter Zetsche will lead the manufacturer’s destiny past its current 2016 term, now extended through 2019. The decision was actually easy to predict, with Daimler’s product strategy in full swing and yielding faster sales. Additionally, besides growing faster than its two larger rivals – BMW and Audi – Daimler has also seen improving profits and the defection of the most likely successor, Mercedes production chief Andreas Renschler left for Volkswagen to head their truck making division. All these factors worked once more in favor of Zetsche, which had its contract renewed back in 2013 by a lower than usual three year period after the company’s mighty labor representatives started adding pressure.

Now, the successor search within the company will likely redirect towards younger faces. That’s because the contract extension has most likely written off trucks unit chief Wolfgang Bernhard, China head Hubertus Troska and finance boss Bodo Uebber. They are unlikely potential successor because of age – they will all be very close to 60 when Zetsche’s contract expires in 2019. Naturally, the company is not without options, within the younger generation of executives, such as sales leader Ola Kaellenius, Markus Schaefer – who directs manufacturing and Klaus Zehender, who runs procurement, all three at Mercedes and all three currently in their 40s.

Via Automotive News Europe