A shareholder vote on May 22 has cleared the way for the management of global vehicle OEM Daimler AG to reorganize the Stuttgart, Germany-based industrial giant into three legally independent entities.
One new company will focus on its car and van business and a second on its truck and bus business, while the third, which already exists and will be renamed, focuses on financial services.
Explaining the need to restructure, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Daimler AG Manfred Bischoff said in a news release that it is necessary to achieve the company’s “ambition to be a leader in the new era of mobility…. The new structure will enhance our ability to act in a dynamically growing competitive environment, including in terms of raising capital. It will also let us better respond to customer and market needs.”
Due to legalities, the launch of the new group structure is targeted for November 1. Starting then, Mercedes-Benz AG will be responsible for the current Mercedes-Benz Cars and Mercedes-Benz Vans divisions, while Daimler Trucks (including Daimler Trucks North America) and Daimler Buses will be joined in Daimler Truck AG. In addition, already legally independent Daimler Financial Services AG will be renamed Daimler Mobility AG as of July 24.
The company noted that the two new companies, like the current Daimler AG and the future Daimler Mobility AG, will be co-determined German stock corporations with registered offices in Stuttgart.
Daimler AG stated in a news release that as the publicly listed parent company, it will “perform the functions of governance, strategy and control, and will provide group-wide services. With three strong entities under a common umbrella, the Daimler Group will be more flexible and focused.”
Daimler said the new structure will give its divisions “more entrepreneurial freedom, increase market and customer orientation, and make cooperation easier and faster. By focusing the new companies on their customers, markets and core competencies, new growth and earnings potential can be utilized. In addition, the strengthening of the divisional structure serves the objective of retaining existing investors over the long-term and attracting new investors and partners.”
The company also announced that Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars Dieter Zetsche was stepping down after more than 13 years at the helm. He is being succeeded by Ola Källenius, who currently heads up Daimler Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development.
Zetsche began his career at Daimler in 1976 in the junior manager group and successfully held a number of management positions, including with the commercial vehicles business unit in Brazil, Argentina, and the United States before being appointed in 1995 to the board of management of Mercedes-Benz AG as head of sales and then to the board of management of the commercial vehicles business unit. In 2000, he assumed responsibility for Chrysler as CEO and president until 2005, when he became Head of the Mercedes-Benz Car Group. In 2006, he was appointed CEO of Daimler AG
"With Dieter Zetsche an exceptional executive is leaving,” commented Manfred Bischoff. “He has successfully led Daimler back to the top, also through difficult terrain. Together with the employees, he has pushed forward the company's fundamental transformation. Under his leadership, Daimler has laid the foundation for a good future. He deserves our unqualified gratitude.”