Future of top Mercedes man hangs in balance

29th July 2005, Comments 0 comments

29 July 2005, STUTTGART - The future of Eckhard Cordes, the executive who heads DaimlerChrysler's German car manufacturing division, hung in the balance Friday, a day after his mentor Juergen Schrempp announced he was taking early retirement.

29 July 2005

STUTTGART - The future of Eckhard Cordes, the executive who heads DaimlerChrysler's German car manufacturing division, hung in the balance Friday, a day after his mentor Juergen Schrempp announced he was taking early retirement.

Cordes is reported to have verbally offered his resignation after he was passed over in the race to replace Schrempp. But sources close to the supervisory board said Friday no letter to this effect had been received by board chairman Hilmar Kopper.

Nor have Cordes or any of his associates indicated how serious the offer is. Cordes won a reputation as an effective cost-cutter while heading DaimlerChrysler's trucks division and is making some progress in fixing problems at Mercedes Car Group, his current division.

The board sources said ambiguously that it would be a pity to lose a respected manager like Cordes, but the supervisory board would respect his resignation if he submitted it, as there were other capable persons who could step into his shoes.

Schrempp is to be succeeded next January by Dieter Zetsche, formerly head of North American operations. Cordes had been viewed as a Schrempp protégé with a big future.

Erich Klemm, the worker leader who is deputy chairman of the board under German labour representation rules, said Friday: "I'm not commenting. I don't know anything. I'm off to holidays for three weeks and have no attention of coming to any board meetings."

DPA

Subject: German news

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