Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche thanks workers, interviews for new position in farewell video

Long-time Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche will step down at the end of this year and hand the top leadership role to current sales chief Ola Källenius in 2019, but he’s already on the hunt for a new job.

Well, not really. But Zetsche gave his departure a characteristically comedic twist in a farewell video to employees of Mercedes-Benz’s parent company. In the video, we see Zetsche interviewing for a new role of some sort. And the interviewer continues to ask what Zetsche think is his strongest skill. A series of brief skits follow, including an appearance by Mercedes-AMG’s hot shoe Formula 1 driver, Lewis Hamilton. We won’t spoil everything that happens, but we can tell you Zetsche won’t be a factory F1 driver.

Zetsche isn’t leaving Daimler entirely, though. His departure from the CEO post is part of a succession plan at the automaker that will more than likely see him become the next chairman of the board at Daimler. Regulations require an individual to undergo a two-year cooling off period before joining the board of directors, something the interviewer  humorously alludes to in the video. 

The soon-to-be-former CEO isn’t likely to face stiff competition for the chairman position in 2021, but he’ll still need shareholders’ approval when the time comes. Zetsche has a proven track record, though. He oversaw Daimler’s split from Chrysler about a decade and maneuvered the German automaker through the global financial crisis that took hold in 2008 and 2009. 

For the next two years, Zetsche says he’ll take a well-deserved break. But we’ll see the mustached executive return in the very near future. 

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