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Daimler: ex-CEO Dieter Zetsche refuses supervisory board mandate

2020-09-26T12:02:38.128Z

Critics make Dieter Zetsche jointly responsible for Daimler's problems. The long-standing CEO therefore had doubts as to whether his planned move to the supervisory board would be good for the group - and for himself.



Dieter Zetsche, former CEO of Daimler (at the 2013 Annual General Meeting)

Photo: FABRIZIO BENSCH / REUTERS

Former CEO Dieter Zetsche will not return as planned as head of the supervisory board to the car manufacturer Daimler next year.

In view of the shared responsibility for the group's problems, which critics give the long-standing top manager, the latter now rejects the mandate.

"In the final analysis I decided that I don't want that, that I do without it," said the 67-year-old of the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung".

That he now - after 40 years of professional life - "is not seen by some as a bearer of hope, but rather as a burden - no, I don't need that," he added.

Zetsche was CEO of the Stuttgart-based automaker from January 2006 to May 2019 before handing over his post to Ola Källenius.

However, it was agreed in the executive bodies that Zetsche should take over the chairmanship of Manfred Bischoff's supervisory board in 2021.

Accusation of wrong strategic decisions

However, these plans have recently met with increasing criticism from many Daimler shareholders.

Among other things, Zetsche is accused of resting on the records of the past few years at the end of his time as CEO and having missed important decisions, especially to switch to electromobility.

The current crisis is - apart from the immediate consequences of the corona pandemic - homemade, they say.

In the second quarter, the group had made a loss of around two billion euros.

An austerity program was launched.

The consequences of neglect and wrong strategic decisions had already become apparent in 2019.

The car company had alarmed investors three times with a profit warning, and some expensive car developments turned out to be a flop.

The ordered recalls of some diesel models because of manipulated exhaust gas values ​​scratched the image as well as the investigations into the involvement in a cartel in the truck business.

And when it comes to the environmental compatibility of cars, there is a lot of catching up to do.

Zetsche now said that in the summer he had long thought about whether his original decision to return to the Daimler Supervisory Board next year was still valid.

"Of course I would have liked to have done this job. I also think I would have done it well," he said, but confessed: "I asked myself whether I was really doing the company a service. And if I was doing myself a favor, if I take on this task now. "

Zetsche did not comment on the question of who could become the new chairman of the supervisory board instead.

"I'm out of there, I don't have any decisions to make about that."

Icon: The mirror

kig / dpa

Source: spiegel

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