Dieter Zetsche: Is the dream of the Chairman of the Supervisory Board bursting?

The route seemed to have been marked out: After his departure as CEO, Dieter Zetsche was to wait two years before taking over the chairmanship of the Daimler Supervisory Board in 2021 in a sufficiently cool state. Until recently, this was “completely clear”, a member of the supervisory board told Manager Magazin. But after the recall of hundreds of thousands of diesel vehicles and in view of the investigations into alleged exhaust gas manipulation and a possible truck cartel, the question arises more than ever: How credible could a Supervisory Board Chairman deal with Zetche’s misconduct in the event of a diesel and/or cartel accident at Daimler?

Succession planning: Bischoff needs a plan B

According to Manager Magazin, employee representatives are especially opposed to Zetsches plan for the future because they fear”that the new chief controller will be caught up with his past”. The current Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Manfred Bischoff (76), on the other hand, remains loyal to Zetsche – which could in the worst case also be due to the fact that the two have known each other for a long time and are close friends, according to company experts. We mean: From today’s perspective, it is to be feared that even a two-year cooling-off period at Zetsche will not be sufficient. Bischoff therefore needs a Plan B for succession to the Supervisory Board.