FRANKFURT – Daimler’s Dieter Zetsche will not seek to become chairman of the German carmaker’s supervisory board, he told Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung newspaper.
Zetsche, 67, a former chief executive of the company which owns the Mercedes-Benz brand, was due to take a seat as chairman on the board of directors, which in Germany is known as 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 telling the paper.
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“We acknowledge Dr. Zetsche’s decision with great respect,” a Daimler spokesman said.
Zetsche says Daimler’s top investors would have backed him to succeed Manfred Bischoff but that there may have been opposition from other shareholders.
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“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 telling the paper.
Zetsche, who aside from being chief executive of Daimler, was also head of Mercedes-Benz, was due to succeed Bischoff at Daimler’s annual general meeting on March 31, 2021.
Earlier this month Daimler agreed to pay $2.2 billion to resolve a U.S. government diesel emissions investigation and claims from 250,000 U.S. vehicle owners.