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Dieter Zetsche

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Dieter Zetsche

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Wikipedia: Dieter Zetsche

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Born: 5 May 1953

Former Chairman of DaimlerChrysler and CEO of Daimler AG.


The following section is an excerpt from Wikipedia's Dieter Zetsche page on 2 July 2020, text available via the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Dieter Zetsche is a German engineer and business executive. He is the chairman of TUI AG. He was the chairman of the board of management of Daimler AG and head of Mercedes-Benz until 22 May 2019, a role he had held since 2006, in addition to being a member of the company's board since 1998.

Zetsche was born while his father, Herbert Zetsche, a civil engineer, was temporarily in Turkey for a dam construction project. The family returned to Germany in 1956. He attended school in Oberursel (near Frankfurt am Main) and studied electrical engineering from 1971 to 1976 at the University of Karlsruhe; he graduated as an engineer. He completed his doctorate in engineering in 1982 at the University of Paderborn.

Zetsche joined Daimler-Benz in 1976, working in the research department. In 1981, he became Assistant Development Manager at the Vehicles business unit. He became a member of Daimler Chrysler's Board of Management in 1998 and served as the President/CEO of Chrysler Group from mid-2000 to 31 December 2005, where he was credited with a turnaround of DCX's American operations. Since 1 January 2006 he succeeded Jürgen Schrempp as Chairman of DaimlerChrysler (now Daimler AG), being succeeded in the position of Chrysler Group CEO by Thomas W. LaSorda.

Zetsche was the main influence behind the demerger of Daimler and Chrysler in 2007, which ended in the newly formed Daimler AG. Following profit warnings in 2012 and 2013, weak sales in China and tensions with Daimler's powerful labour representatives, his contract was renewed for only three years instead of the expected five. He received €14.4 million in pay and bonuses in 2014, making him the second-highest paid employee at a listed German company. After a record year for car sales and revenue in 2015, Zetsche's contract was extended to 2019.

Zetsche is credited with bringing significant core changes to Mercedes-Benz in an effort to turn around a decade-long downward spiral in product quality and customer satisfaction. He was named in Time Magazine's 2006's list of 100 most influential people. On the invitation of the Green Party’s leadership, Zetsche was invited to address the 2016 party conference.

In September 2018, it was announced that Zetsche will step down as the company's CEO in May 2019 to comply with a two-year-long hiatus regulatory rule before becoming chairman of Daimler's supervisory board in 2021.

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4 April 2007DaimlerChrysler: Zetsche bestätigte Verkaufsgespräche wegen der US-Tochter Chrysler Wikinews

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