A slew of changes has just sweeped through Mercedes-Benz Cars in a bid to adapt to the ever-changing automotive industry. After serving as CEO of Mercedes-Benz Cars since 2005 (and as Chairman of the Board of Management since 2006), Dr. Dieter Zetsche will officially step down from his posts as by the end of December 2019.

The decision came after the Daimler Supervisory Board decided to prepare a suitable succession at an early stage. However, don't think that 'Dr. Z' will completely disappear from the company. Dr. Manfred Bischoff, chairman of the Supervisory Board, will leave his post in 2021. Set to succeed after Bischoff leaves the company will be Dr. Zetsche.

However, in order to comply with company regulations, Zetsche will have to take a two-year cooling-off period, hence his stepping down. Replacing Dr. Z as Chairman of the Board of Management at Daimler will be Ola Källenius who was appointed for a new term of five years. In addition, the company also appointed Källenius as the Head of the Mercedes-Benz Cars division.

“As a long-standing member of the Board of Management and Chairman of the Board of Management, Dieter Zetsche has played a key role in shaping Daimler AG and has ensured its strategically outstanding positioning for the mobility of the future. His expertise and experience are extremely valuable for our company. Dieter Zetsche is predestined also to lead the company’s Supervisory Board prudently and successfully,” said Bischoff.

Dieter Zetsche steps down as head of Mercedes-Benz Cars

As for Ola Källenius who is set to lead Mercedes-Benz Cars, Dr. Zetsche said that not only has Källenius earned his respect, but also the recognition in various and diverse areas.

“In various positions at Daimler, Ola Källenius has earned not only my respect, but also the recognition of his colleagues in very diverse areas. At the same time, he contributes a valuable international perspective. I therefore very much welcome the fact that the Supervisory Board has made this forward-looking personnel decision,” said Zetsche.

In review, Dr. Zetsche has been a member of the company's Board of Mangement since December 1998. He was also appointed Chairman of the Board of Management of the former Daimler-Chrysler AG in January 2006. During his time, the company was able to see the release of such models like the Mercedes-AMG A45, Mercedes-AMG GT, the all-new G-Class and the V-Class people carrier.