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Daimler Extends CEO's Contract, Appoints New R&D Chief

Feb. 16, 2016
The 46-year-old Ola Kaellenius, the new head of group research, could eventually take over from 62-year-old Dieter Zetsche as chief executive.

FRANKFURT, Germany—German auto giant Daimler said on Tuesday that its supervisory board had decided to extend the contract of the group's chief executive and had also appointed a new head of research and development to the board. 

"In its meeting today, the supervisory board of Daimler extended the contract of Dieter Zetsche, 62, by three years until December 31, 2019," the carmaker said in a statement.

"Daimler is more successful than ever," said supervisory board chief Manfred Bischoff.

Zetsche "can make employees enthusiastic for the demanding targets of the group. With the contract extension we are securing the continuity at the top needed for sustainable success," Bischoff said. 

"We are looking forward to continuing the excellent collaboration with Dieter Zetsche."

At the same time, Daimler announced that it had named 46-year-old Ola Kaellenius as board member responsible for group research and Mercedes-Benz Cars development.

Swedish-born Kaellenius is to take over from Thomas Weber, 61, from January 1, 2017, Daimler said. 

Media reports suggest that Kaellenius could eventually take over from Zetsche as chief executive.

"With Ola Kaellenius we are appointing an experienced board colleague with extensive expertise in the passenger car business," said supervisory board chief Bischoff. 

"At the same time, we are positioning the board of management to be younger and more international," he added. 

If Kaellenius does take over as chief executive officer, he will be the first non-German to hold that position in Daimler.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2016

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