STUTTGART, Germany, Sept. 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- After more than 34 years of service, and having reached his 65th birthday, Dr Joachim Schmidt, Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing and part of the management team at Mercedes-Benz Cars, has decided to hand over his responsibilities to a younger pair of hands. The transfer will formally take place on October 1st, 2013. The Daimler Board of Management has named Ola Kaellenius, currently head of AMG, as his successor. Dr Schmidt will remain available until the end of 2013 to support Mr Kaellenius in settling into his new role and to offer any advice and assistance.
For over 20 years, Dr Schmidt has served in various sales and marketing management roles and, since October 2009, has been a member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Cars with responsibility for sales and marketing. In this role, he is also responsible for managing the worldwide national companies and the Executive Committee Sales & Marketing, which comprises the passenger car, van and truck lines.
The Board of Management would like to thank Dr Schmidt for his many years of successful service. Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, said "Joachim Schmidt understands and embodies Mercedes-Benz like almost no-one else. Under his leadership, the brand has conquered many new regions and delighted its customers with its traditional strengths. He has reconfigured Sales and Marketing and laid the groundwork for bringing Mercedes-Benz into a new era."
Under Dr Schmidt's watch, the Mercedes-Benz brand has tapped into important new growth regions and made huge progress in quality and customer satisfaction. He played a central role in the greatest strategic product initiative in the company's history and helped open up Mercedes-Benz to new, younger target groups. With the initiative "Best Customer Experience" he developed the retail of the future and laid the foundations in sales and marketing for the Mercedes-Benz 2020 growth strategy.
Joachim Schmidt was born on September 7th, 1948 in Sindelfingen. He studied mathematics at the University of Stuttgart, obtaining his science doctorate there in 1976. In 1979, he joined what was then known as Daimler-Benz, working initially in passenger car development and then for over 20 years in various sales and marketing management positions.
Ola Kaellenius as Dr Schmidt's successor has comprehensive knowledge of the Mercedes-Benz product portfolio and the Daimler sales structures, not least thanks to his role as Chairman of the Management Board of Mercedes-AMG. "With Ola Kaellenius we have someone with cars in his blood taking over the reins," said Dr Zetsche. "He knows what makes a brand a success and has in depth knowledge of our customers and our organisation. We have him to thank for the fact that in recent years AMG has achieved double-digit growth rates and has significantly increased its market leadership in many markets. I am happy he has accepted this position."
Ola Kaellenius (44) has been Chairman of the Management Board of Mercedes-AMG since April 1st, 2010. Before that, he was plant manager at the Mercedes-Benz factory in Tuscaloosa (USA), led Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines in Brixworth, UK, and worked at McLaren Automotive. Previous roles at Daimler in Stuttgart include head of the Powertrain Procurement unit. Born in Sweden, he began his career on the International Management Associate Program in 1993, at what was then Daimler-Benz. He is a graduate of the Stockholm School of Economics and the University of St. Gallen. A successor to Mr Kaellenius as Chairman of the Management Board of Mercedes-AMG will be appointed and announced shortly.
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Daimler AG is one of the world's most successful automotive companies. With its divisions Mercedes-Benz Cars, Daimler Trucks, Mercedes-Benz Vans, Daimler Buses and Daimler Financial Services, the Daimler Group is one of the biggest producers of premium cars and the world's biggest manufacturer of commercial vehicles with a global reach. Daimler Financial Services provides financing, leasing, fleet management, insurance and innovative mobility services.The company's founders, Gottlieb Daimler and Carl Benz, made history with the invention of the automobile in the year 1886. As a pioneer of automotive engineering, Daimler continues to shape the future of mobility today: The Group's focus is on innovative and green technologies as well as on safe and superior automobiles that appeal to and fascinate its customers. For many years now,Daimler has been investing continually in the development of alternative drive systems with the goal of making emission-free driving possible in the long term. So in addition to vehicles with hybrid drive, Daimler now has the broadest range of locally emission-free electric vehicles powered by batteries and fuel cells. This is just one example of how Daimler willingly accepts the challenge of meeting its responsibility towards society and the environment. Daimler sells its vehicles and services in nearly all the countries of the world and has production facilities on five continents. Its current brand portfolio includes, in addition to the world's most valuable premium automotive brand, Mercedes-Benz, the brands smart, Freightliner, Western Star, BharatBenz, Fuso, Setra and Thomas Built Buses. The company is listed on the stock exchanges of Frankfurt and Stuttgart (stock exchange symbol DAI). In 2012, the Group sold 2.2 million vehicles and employed a workforce of 275,000 people; revenue totaled €114.3 billion and EBIT amounted to €8.6 billion.
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