Frankfurt - BMW has named its top production manager, Oliver Zipse, as CEO to lead the German carmaker through a shift to new ways of doing business such as electric vehicles and offering cars on a per-use basis.
The company announced on Thursday that Zipse, 55, would succeed Harald Krueger on August 16. Krueger, 53, had said on July 5 that he wouldn't seek to renew his contract when it expires next May.
The BMW board of directors made the decision during a meeting at its plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
The company has been buffeted by the trade conflict between the US and China and saw its weakest profitability in a decade in the first quarter. Krueger's four-year tenure has seen the company lose its global lead in luxury sales to rival Mercedes. The company gained an early edge in battery cars with its i3 city car in 2013, but was slow to follow up with more battery models, choosing to emphasise battery-internal combustion hybrids while California upstart Tesla seized market share in premium battery cars.
Shifting business environment