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DaimlerChrysler CEO to Step Down

DaimlerChrysler's CEO Juergen Schrempp will leave the company at the end of 2005.


The Supervisory Board of DaimlerChrysler agreed to name Dieter Zetsche, now head of the US-based Chrysler Group, to replace Schrempp as chairman of the Board of Management of DaimlerChrysler from Jan. 1, 2006, the Stuttgart-based carmaker said.


"The Supervisory Board and Schrempp are in full agreement that the end of the year 2005 is the optimal time for a change in the leadership of the company," said Hilmar Kopper, chairman of the Supervisory Board of DaimlerChrysler.


"The decisions of the Supervisory Board have been made unanimously after a thorough process," Kopper said.


Schrempp has been criticized by shareholders for the falling profits in their Germany-based Mercedes Car Group and the bad performance of the Smart compact car.


At the company's annual meeting in April, Schrempp admitted major problems at its Mercedes division.


Mercedes-Benz's earnings slumped by 97 percent to 20 million euros (about US$24 million) in the fourth quarter of 2004.


DaimlerChrysler shares have lost about a third of their value over the past five years.


(Xinhua News Agency July 29, 2005)


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