The nomination of Ola Kallenius, the Sales & Marketing boss of Mercedes-Benz cars as the eighth member of the carmaker’s Management Board, signals that the Swedish-born manager could be the next in line to succeed Dieter Zetsche as Chief Executive.
As we announced on December 13th, Ola Kallenius (45) will be the eighth member of the Daimler Management Board from January 1st, 2015 to December 31st, 2017 and he will also keep his position as chief of global marketing and sales.
“Ola Källenius will make our Board of Management younger and more international. These are two characteristics that we increasingly see also amongst our customers. With his wide-ranging experience, Mr. Källenius will help us to optimally address customers’ needs and to achieve the growth targets of our ‘Mercedes-Benz 2020’ strategy,” stated Dr. Manfred Bischoff, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Daimler AG.
Dieter Zetsche has already signed a contract to lead Mercedes-Benz also in 2016, but, according to inautonews.com, it will not be a surprise if Kallenius will succeed Zetsche at the end of 2016 or even earlier.
Before Zetsche was invested as Daimler CEO on January 1st, 2006, he was the chief of the sales division, between 1995 and 1999, like Ola Kallenius.
Zetsche had a great influence in ceasing Daimler Chrysler joint venture in 2007 – a takeover which only causes trouble for Mercedes. After Mercedes stopped the cooperation with Chrysler, Zetsche had a crucial role in revatilizing Mercedes-Benz. After around a decade long downward spiral in product quality and customer satisfaction, Zetsche made some significant core changes to the Mercedes-Benz company.
The new MFA platform, which is the base of all new five compact models, the hybridization of the Mercedes rear-wheel drive range and the new MRA platform for the rear wheel drive cars, which starts a new era beginning with the C-Class, are the main achievements of Dieter Zetsche.