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Daimler extends Dieter Zetsche's contract, appoints new R&D head

by Justin King

\"Daimler is more successful than ever,\" says supervisory board chairman Manfred Bischoff.

Daimler has extended Dieter Zetsche's contract as chief executive officer, chairman of its board of directors and head of Mercedes-Benz Cars.

The executive last month entered the final year of his existing contract, due to expire at the end of 2016, however the company has decided to keep Zetsche in his current roles through the end of 2019.

"Daimler is more successful than ever," said supervisory board chairman Manfred Bischoff. "This proves that Dieter Zetsche pursues and implements the right strategy not only aligned with the supervisory board. He also can make employees enthusiastic for the demanding targets of the group."

Zetsche joined Daimler's management board in 1998 and has served as chairman for a decade.

The company also announced that Ola Kaellenius has been appointed to succeed Thomas Weber as head of research and development. Kaellenius currently leads Mercedes-Benz Cars sales operations.

"With his sound business education and numerous technical positions within the group, Ola Kaellenius has the expertise required for anchoring and further expanding Daimler's position as technology leader," said Bischoff.

Kaellenius is viewed as a top contender to succeed Zetsche in 2020.

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