Supervisory board member of the week: Liz Centoni (Daimler)

Auto Engineering

Daimler Supervisory Board Chairman Manfred Bischoff (78), whom we criticized in the last issue, is introducing a generational change: At the Annual Meeting on March 31, 2021, shareholders are to elect three new controllers – BASF Chairman Martin Brudermüller, Shell CEO Ben van Beurden and Cisco manager Liz Centoni. The trio has been nominated for ex-Nestlé manager Petraea Heynike (73), former BASF CEO Jürgen Hambrecht (74) and Bischoff himself, who are all leaving the company. Bischoff’s mandate as Chairman of the Supervisory Board will be taken over by Bernd Pischetsrieder (72), who has been a member of the Supervisory Board since 2014.

Hanging party for the Supervisory Board chairmanship

Originally, the long-standing CEO Dieter Zetsche was to move to the top of the Supervisory Board after his cooling-off period. However, this plan was met with sometimes harsh criticism from shareholders and corporate governance experts; Zetsche finally resigned. With Pischetsrieder, Bischoff has now found a respectable replacement, even if rejuvenation truly looks different. After all, the outgoing chairman of the supervisory board is providing a breath of fresh air with the three new members, each of whom is around sixty. The interesting person is Liz Centoni, who was born in Mumbai and studied chemistry there. She is one of the leading tech managers in the USA and serves as Senior Vice President “Strategy, Emerging Technologies & Incubation” at Cisco. She is responsible for developing new business ideas and bringing them to market.