Newspaper article International New York Times

BMW Chief Steps Aside but May Not Go Very Far ; Reithofer Likely to Become Chairman after He Cedes Post to Production Head

Newspaper article International New York Times

BMW Chief Steps Aside but May Not Go Very Far ; Reithofer Likely to Become Chairman after He Cedes Post to Production Head

Article excerpt

German carmaker said Norbert Reithofer would step down as chief executive in May and would be replaced by Harald Kruger, the head of production.

BMW said on Tuesday that Norbert Reithofer would step down as chief executive of the German luxury carmaker in May, a year earlier than expected, and that he would be replaced by Harald Kruger, the head of production.

Mr. Reithofer, 58, who oversaw a push into lower price categories for BMW and the introduction of a line of electric cars, will probably become chairman of the supervisory board and thus remain a powerful, if less visible, force in the company's management.

Like Mr. Reithofer, Mr. Kruger, who is 49, has spent his career at BMW, which is based in Munich. Mr. Kruger has served in a variety of positions, as has Mr. Reithofer, that give him broad experience with company operations.

Mr. Kruger has been the head of personnel, the head of sales for the Mini and Rolls-Royce brands, and the manager of a BMW engine factory in Hams Hall, near Birmingham, England. In the 1990s, he was an engineer involved in the construction of the BMW factory in Spartanburg, S.C. He has been a member of BMW's management board since 2008.

Mr. Kruger also continues a tradition at BMW and at other carmakers of placing in the top post engineers with experience in other disciplines. Mr. Kruger studied in Germany at technical colleges in Braunschweig and in Aachen, earning a degree in mechanical engineering. He joined BMW as a trainee in 1992.

"He has worked in a lot of different positions and knows the company very well," said Ferdinand Dudenhoffer, a professor at the University of Duisburg-Essen. "That's typical BMW."

Mr. Kruger has attended conferences organized by the university, Mr. Dudenhoffer said, and came across as likable and down to earth.

Joachim Milberg, a former BMW chief executive who is regarded as Mr. Reithofer's mentor, will resign as chairman of the supervisory board to allow Mr. Reithofer to be considered for the post. Mr. Reithofer must be elected by other members of the board, but that is considered a formality.

"The BMW Group plans to maintain its leading role in the premium segment," Mr. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.