Dieter ZetscheEnlarge Photo
Mercedes-Benz is currently enjoying its best sales ever and this in turn has led to record profits for parent company Daimler. The German auto giant recorded net profit of 8.9 billion euros (approximately $9.8 billion) in 2015, which was up a staggering 23 percent on results just one year prior.
Not surprisingly, Daimler has decided to extend the contract of Mercedes-Benz CEO Dieter Zetsche by an additional three years. Top-level executives at the company renew their contracts every three years so the extension for Zetsche is the maximum possible.
Zetsche, who has been on the board of management at Daimler since 1998, will now head Mercedes until at least the end of 2019.
Ola KälleniusEnlarge Photo
It has also been confirmed that current Mercedes R&D boss Thomas Weber will step down at the end of this year. Filling in for Weber will be Ola Källenius, the current sales and marketing chief at Mercedes and the person tipped to eventually replace Zetsche as CEO. Källenius has worked in a number of areas at the automaker, including heading the automaker’s American plant as well as the Mercedes-AMG performance division.
Weber is stepping down by mutual agreement and at his own request. He will continue to assist the company in an advisory capacity. He has headed the R&D division since 2003 during which time he laid important foundations, renewed the entire product portfolio of passenger cars, and prepared the automaker for the future of mobility.