February 20, 2020 – As part of its sustainable business strategy, Daimler AG is strongly moving forward with its product, electrification and digitalization offensive. In order to be able to react even faster and more precisely to changing customer needs and complex market requirements in the future, the Company is further developing its organizational structure. The goal is to improve the development and production processes of vehicles, technologies and services through closer and more efficient cooperation.
Acting today to be fit for tomorrow’s global competition - that was our premise for the further development of the company’s organizational structure. To emerge successfully from the transformation, we welcome the streamlining of the organizational and management structure proposed by the Board of Management. All activities focus on future proofing and improving our financial strength, as that is the basis of a sustainable business strategy. The Supervisory Board is convinced this new structure means that the company will be even better positioned to face the challenges of the future in a highly volatile environment.
As part of the Ambition2039 sustainability offensive, Mercedes-Benz AG plans to make its entire new car product portfolio CO₂-neutral - a goal for which the company is pooling all its strengths and resources. Shorter reporting lines in the new structure will help in this effort.
At Daimler we are working hard to achieve our major strategic goals: The gradual switch to CO₂-neutral mobility and the full use of digitalization for products and processes. The transformation of the auto industry is a great opportunity to further develop our successful business model. That is why we are setting up processes and management structures for the future.
Key points on the new structure include the following:
Mercedes-Benz Cars Product Strategy and Steering consolidated into one position
Product Strategy and Steering will be consolidated and promoted to be more customer centric. Wolf-Dieter Kurz will take on this new position. He is responsible for the business cases of product projects and will report directly to the CEO of Mercedes-Benz AG.
Overall control of the Mercedes-Benz Vans division
In addition, on the Board of Management of Daimler AG, Ola Källenius will also be responsible for the Mercedes-Benz Vans division. He has been performing this role on the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz AG since May 2019. Consolidation of responsibilities in both boards ensures consistent control and faster implementation of decisions.
“In line with Wilfried Porth’s own request, he will now concentrate entirely on the comprehensive personnel restructuring measures and the transformation challenges in the Human Resources area. We thank him for his excellent work in the Vans business,” said Bischoff.
Chief Operating Officer: Holistic control of development, procurement and production for all Mercedes-Benz passenger car model series
In order to effectively control all areas that are operationally involved in the innovation, development and value creation process, the company is introducing the new function of Chief Operating Officer (COO). It will be taken on by Markus Schäfer, currently Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG, responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development, Procurement and Supplier Quality. Schäfer will holistically control all business processes over the entire life cycle of a product and, in addition to his current duties on the Board of Daimler AG, will be responsible for production of Mercedes-Benz cars. These areas will thereby be consolidated within the Board of Management of Daimler AG and managed from a single source.
“We look forward to many new exciting vehicle projects in which we will work closely, constructively and with clearly defined responsibilities,” said Källenius.
Daimler streamlines its finance and controlling department
By merging the financial areas of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG under the direction of Harald Wilhelm, Board Member of Daimler AG responsible for Finance & Controlling and Daimler Mobility, redundancies will be reduced, the efficiency of the organization increased and Daimler as a whole made more flexible.
The CFO of Mercedes-Benz AG, Frank Lindenberg, has decided to leave Daimler and seek new challenges. He will leave the company on March 31, 2020 by amicable mutual consent.
Manfred Bischoff: “I thank Frank Lindenberg for his many years of successful work in the Group. He has supported Harald Wilhelm very effectively since he joined Daimler with his extensive experience as a Mercedes CFO and former Truck CFO in a demanding position.”
Ola Källenius: “Frank Lindenberg did an excellent job as CFO and architect of the Mercedes-Benz finance organization. As the chief strategist of our comprehensive “MOVE” transformation program, he has not only brought about significant increases in efficiency, but has also been instrumental in driving the revision of our Mercedes business strategy. I have also highly valued Frank as a person in our work together and wish him continued success in the future.”
Frank Lindenberg, CFO of Mercedes-Benz AG: “After more than 25 years, I leave the Daimler Group with gratitude for what I have achieved and with the conviction that the best course has been set for the future. After eight years as a Mercedes CFO, I would now like to open a new chapter in my professional career and, at the same time, stay connected to the Company and its extraordinary people.”
Harald Wilhelm will take on the additional function of Chief Financial Officer at Mercedes-Benz AG on April 1, 2020.