Cordes leaving Mercedes, Zetsche to take over

18th August 2005, Comments 0 comments

18 August 2005, STUTTGART - A three-week management crisis at Mercedes-Benz sparked by the surprise move by the German luxury carmaker's chief to step down has come to an end, the company announced Thursday.

18 August 2005

STUTTGART - A three-week management crisis at Mercedes-Benz sparked by the surprise move by the German luxury carmaker's chief to step down has come to an end, the company announced Thursday.

Mercedes Car Group chief Eckhard Cordes is to leave the company at the end of the month after saying he wanted to leave the automaker in the wake of last month's dramatic announcement by DaimlerChrysler AG chief Juergen Schrempp that he was departing the group at the end of the year.

Mercedes is the flagship of DaimlerChrysler, which is the world's fifth biggest carmaker.

In a statement, Mercedes said that Cordes was leaving of his own accord and that his post would be taken over by Dieter Zetsche, who is at present chief of DaimlerChrysler's north American operations and is due to replace Schrempp as the group's new head on January 1 next year.

Zetsche is to take over at Mercedes on an interim basis, until a final successor for Cordes is found. Zetsche is expected to remain Mercedes chief for a year or possibly longer, according to industry sources.

Cordes offered to resign about three weeks ago after he lost the power struggle over who would follow Schrempp as chief of the transatlantic car giant.

Since then, the German media have been speculating about who might follow Cordes at Mercedes, which is in the middle of a major restructuring drive aimed at putting the luxury car group back onto the road to recovery after a plunge in earnings last year and a batch of poor quality reports.

This included reports that Volkswagen AG star executive Wolfgang Bernhard would return to DaimlerChrysler to take over the running of the Mercedes-Benz division. Bernhard, however, has denied the reports, insisting he is staying at VW.

DPA

Subject: German news

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