Daimler Hearts Dr Z

Cammy Corrigan
by Cammy Corrigan

Reuters reports that Daimler are so smitten with Dieter Zetsche, they’ve extended his contract until 2013. By then, Zetsche will be 60 years old, and will have worked for Daimler for 37 years. “Promote the insiders” was the cry in Daimler’s headquarters, as Thomas Weber, a board member responsible for group research, also received a contract extension to 2013. In the excitement, Wolfgang Bernhard was elected to a newly-created seat on Daimler’s board of directors as well. But these votes of confidence shouldn’t be taken for granted. Daimler have some big challenges in front of them, chief of which is a lack of scale and cost competitiveness in the compact segment. Herr Zetsche did start talks with Renault, but nothing has come to fruition yet. Another big problem, particularly in the ego division, is that Daimler are falling behind BMW (and, gasp, even Audi) globally and in emerging markets like China and India. It seems that if Dieter Zetsche wants to retire at 60, he’s going to have to earn it.

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4 of 10 comments
  • Lilpoindexter Lilpoindexter on Feb 17, 2010

    HMMM Maybe Dr. Z needs some help running Daimler...Maybe he should hire Bob Wagoner, Jim Press and Bob Nardelli...and hell Bob Lutz too!

  • Mikeolan Mikeolan on Feb 17, 2010

    Actually, I think if I remember right, Dr. Z. was one of the only Daimler execs who wanted the Chrysler thing to work.

  • Psarhjinian Psarhjinian on Feb 17, 2010

    To be fair to Zetsche, he inherited a lot from Schrempp's mismanagement. Also to be fair, he's had a lot of time to recover.

  • Accs Accs on Feb 17, 2010

    Hmmm.... He's a funny thing. He's the 4th or 5th CEO I know who of actually went on TV as some old dude Iacocca, Nasser, Ford Jr, Dr. Z, Whitacre. Iacocca did his bit with SNoop Dog... pointless ad. Nasser hoped to deflect attention off of Exploder issues. Ford Jr Cant remember Dr. Z wanted to show off the redeeming qualities of whatever garbage they tried to meld MB with Chrysler. And Whitacre... he makes my head hurt. Funny thing. I wonder why they even bother putting these yahoos on TV.