Frankfurt - Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche, who unwound a troubled merger with Chrysler Corporation and led the German carmaker to a string of record profits, will hand off next year to Ola Kallenius, a longtime insider who heads vehicle development for the Mercedes-Benz brand.
The Stuttgart-based company said Wednesday that the change will take place in May and that Zetsche, 65, would be nominated to become head of the board in 2021 after the term expires for the current chairman, Manfred Bischoff.
Zetsche's latest three-year contract was to end in December 2019 and Kallenius had figured prominently in speculation about who would succeed him.
Chairman Bischoff said that by nominating Zetsche early for the top board of directors post, "we are ensuring continuity for the sustained success of Daimler AG."
"In Ola Kallenius, we are appointing a recognized, internationally experienced and successful Daimler executive," he said.