Surprise! Bodo Uebber to Leave Daimler Board as Purge Continues

“We are not yet at the level that we aim to reach in the medium to long-term,” said Dieter Zetsche, who retires next May.

In what appears to be a surprise move, Bodo Uebber told the Chairman of the Daimler Supervisory Board, Manfred Bischoff, that he does not intend to extend his contract of service, which runs until the end of 2019. The Supervisory Board did not announce a successor and will appoint one “in due course.”

Like all automakers, Daimler is facing the unknown future of mobility, autonomous vehicles and the internet of things. Its problems are complicated by currency valuations and a vulnerable international supply and manufacturing footprint fraught with political issues starting in Germany, as well as Trump’s trade wars, and competitors, of course. The vehicle maker is reorganizing itself into three distinct business units—trucks, passenger cars and mobility services, which includes car-sharing and ride-hailing.

A Daimler statement said: “After 16 years being a Board member by then, Bodo Uebber, would like to give the company and the new Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, Ola Källenius, the opportunity to build a new long-term focused team, to shape successfully the upcoming far-reaching structural changes further on.”

During its meeting on 26 September 2018, the Supervisory Board decided to appoint Ola Källenius as Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, effective at the end of the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting in May 2019. Dieter Zetsche will therefore step down from his position in the Board of Management of Daimler AG and as Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars at the end of the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting on May 22, 2019.

Manfred Bischoff, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Daimler AG: “We thank Bodo Uebber for his many years of successful work as the Member of the Board of Management responsible for Finance & Controlling and for the Daimler Financial Services division, and respect his personal choice.”

Bodo Uebber said, “It was not easy for me. But now is the time for the company to put my tasks also in younger hands. The path ahead, with its fundamental changes, requires long-term continuity in corporate management as well.”

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