Daimler‘s trucks chief Wolfgang Bernhard, once viewed as a candidate to succeed CEO Dieter Zetsche, has stepped down one year before his contract would end, the automaker stated.
Bernhard’s restructuring efforts have outraged effective labor leaders, who hampered his development at Daimler till he was too old to be thought for the top job, as per the sources knowledgeable about the matter.
Daimler stated Bernhard was leaving at his own request for personal factors and was released from his responsibilities with immediate effect. It did not specified what he would do next, however added CEO Zetsche would take control of his responsibilities at Daimler Trucks & Buses.
Daimler’s 20-member supervisory board met last week to talk about Bernhard and a possible contract extension, a source had informed Reuters previously, however Bernhard rather asked to leave.
Bernhard started working at Daimler in 1994 and moved through the positions to become head of Mercedes-Benz Vans, board member for production for Mercedes-Benz Cars and ultimately head of trucks.
But in 2016, Daimler extended the agreement of CEO Zetsche by three years, a move that ruled out Wolfgang Bernhard as a successor, as the automaker would choose a candidate most likely to remain at the helm for many years.
A year earlier, Daimler likewise promoted Ola Kaellenius, a 47-year-old Swede, to direct research and development, a move company insiders told makes him a natural successor to Zetsche.
Daimler on Friday increased Kaellenius’ contract up until Dec. 31, 2022.