Zetsche, 67, a former chief executive of the company which is the owner of the Mercedes-Benz brand, was due to take a seat as chairman on the board of directors, which in Germany is called the supervisory board.
“Naturally I would like to have done the job. I also believe I would have done it well. But in the end, I decided that I do not want it, that I renounce this opportunity,” Zetsche is quoted as informing the paper.
“We acknowledge Dr. Zetsche’s decision with great respect,” a Daimler spokesman said.
Zetsche says the automaker’s top investors would have supported him to succeed Manfred Bischoff but that there may have been opposition from other shareholders.
“The fact that after 40 years of work I am not regarded by some as an asset, but as a burden, I do not need that,” Zetsche is quoted as informing the paper.
Zetsche, who aside from being chief executive of Daimler, also worked as head of Mercedes-Benz, was due to succeed Bischoff at Daimler’s annual general meeting on March 31, 2021.