BMW to pick new CEO, Oliver Zipse emerges as favourite

Edward Taylor | Reuters | 19 July 2019

BMW is set to name Oliver Zipse as its new chief executive, picking the manufacturing expert to help the German automaker make the shift to electric and self-driving cars and tackle new competition from technology giants.

The company’s supervisory board will discuss new leadership at BMW’s U.S. plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina, later on Thursday, after 53-year-old Harald Krueger said he would not be available for a second term as CEO.

Zipse, 55, is now the front runner, with 59-year-old board member for research Klaus Froehlich also a contender, company sources told Reuters.

A fluent English speaker who joined BMW as a trainee in 1991, Zipse has risen through the ranks, holding posts including head of brand and product strategies before becoming board member for production.

Zipse has emerged as favorite because BMW’s efficient production network, which he expanded in Hungary, China and the United States, has helped the company deliver industry-leading profit margins despite its relatively small scale.

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