Daimler head Dieter Zetsche to quit next year

The chief executive of Daimler, Dieter Zetsche, above, will step down in May next year after leading the car-maker for over a decade.
Zetsche will be succeeded by the current head of development at the group, Ola Kallenius, a Swede.

Zetsche will return to the company in 2021 to head the supervisory board of the Daimler Group when the term of the current chairman Manfred Bischoff expires.

Zetsche is leaving when Daimler is suffering the fallout from the so-called ‘diesel-gate’ scandal that first broke in 2015. Although Daimler denied emissions-cheating devices like those in the Volkswagen group, it was forced to recall 774,000 diesel Mercedes vehicles in Europe in June this year.

The ongoing trade war between the US and China has impacted Daimler’s car exports from US production units to China because of the new import taxes.

Daimler is going to be divided into three units — one for passenger cars and vans, another for trucks and buses, and the third one for financial services.

Zetsche played an important role in leading the company out of the global financial crisis in 2008 and redesigning Mercedes-Benz vehicles to attract young buyers.