Mercedes chairman quits over merger plans

The protracted power struggle at Daimler-Benz came to a head yesterday when Helmut Werner, chairman of Mercedes-Benz, its luxury car and trucks unit, resigned in protest over the reshaping of Germany's biggest industrial group.

Mr Werner had unsuccessfully resisted attempts by Juergen Schrempp, Daimler's chief executive, to merge Mercedes within the overall structure of the parent company. Mercedes, which accounts for three-quarters of Daimler's sales and is regarded as the group's cash-cow, will lose its seven-year independence as a result of the restructuring.

In a statement the company said it was Mr Werner's "feeling that the new organisational structure of Daimler-Benz did not offer a scope of responsibility commensurate with his industrial experience".

Other positions for Mr Werner within the Daimler-Benz board had been discussed but none satisfied his expectations, the statement said. Last night it remained unclear when Mr Werner's resignation would take effect. In accordance with German corporate practice no mention of Mr Werner's pay-off was made either.

Mr Werner was reported to be the only board member to vote against the restructuring plan, though Daimler insisted he had offered his "full support and agreement to the new structure" proposed by the parent company's board.

Analysts broadly welcomed the move. "There wasn't room for Werner and Schrempp in the one company. Schrempp had to get clear and undisputed control," said Peter Schmidt of Automotive Industry Data. "Werner is a very capable guy but he ran Mercedes as though it was his own company and an autonomous group and this just is not the case."

Mr Werner's departure, the latest in a series of top-level management changes at Daimler, draws a line under the German industrial conglomerate's ill-fated late-1980s attempt to diversify away from its core car business and build a national defence and aerospace champion on the back of Mercedes' commercial success.

Daimler has been on the road to recovery since reporting a massive DM5.7bn (pounds 2.13bn) loss in 1995 after massive provisions were taken at its DASA defence and aerospace division, which is part of the European Airbus consortium.

Mr Schrempp, who took over from Edzard Reuter two years ago, has cut back unprofitable businesses and exited from Fokker to help Daimler return to profit.

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

AIFMD Business Analyst / Consultant - Investment Management

£450 - £600 per day: Harrington Starr: AIFMD Business Analyst / Consultant - I...

Business Analyst Solvency II SME (Pillar 1, 2 & 3) Insurance

£450 - £600 per day: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Solvency II SME (Pilla...

Manager - SAS - Data Warehouse - Banking

£350 - £365 per day: Orgtel: Manager, SAS, Data Warehouse, Banking, Bristol - ...

SQL DBA/Developer

£500 per day: Harrington Starr: SQL DBA/Developer
 SQL, C#, VBA, Linux, SQL Se...

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve