Mercedes-Benz has made several new appointments to its top management team, affecting the level 1 positions below the Group Board of Management. Among the changes, Christoph Starzynski, currently the Head of Development Electric Drive, will take on responsibility for the overall vehicle development of all Mercedes-Benz passenger car series starting July 1, 2023.
The series of appointments was prompted by Wolf-Dieter Kurz, Head of Product Strategy & Steering, who after 34 years with the company, decided to “begin a new phase of his life” in March, according to an official statement. Kurz’s duties will be taken over by Oliver Thöne, currently Head of Production Planning Mercedes-Benz Cars, with a one-month familiarization period starting on March 1, 2023. Thöne will then be succeeded by Arno van der Merwe, currently CEO of Beijing Benz Automotive Co (BBAC) in China on June 1, 2023.
Jörg Bartels, Head of Complete Vehicle Integration in Passenger Car Development, will become head of BBAC on July 1, 2023. This position will then be filled by Starzynski, the previous head of electric drive development. In this personnel change, Starzynski will take on responsibility for the complete vehicle development of all Mercedes-Benz passenger car series. Torsten Eder, Head of Powertrain Development, will assume the role of Head of Electric Drive Development on July 1, 2023, and will manage the areas that have been combined until then, pending approval from the relevant co-determination bodies.
The announcement also includes further level 1 personnel changes. Philipp Schiemer, CEO of Mercedes-AMG GmbH & Head of Top End Vehicle (TEV) Group, will relinquish AMG management and will focus on the Top End Customer and Community Management function at Mercedes-Benz AG starting April 2023. Schiemer has “contributed significantly to the success of Mercedes-AMG and has also driven the Maybach and G-Class product offensive,” according to the statement.
With a one-month transition period, Michael Schiebe, currently Chief of Staff to the Chairman of the Board of Management & Head of the Corporate Office, will take over the AMG management and also that of the Top End Vehicle (TEV) Group in March 2023. Schiebe will report directly to Markus Schäfer, the Mercedes board member responsible for development and purchasing.
Additionally, Florian Hohenwarter, Head of Production Europe/Africa, will leave Mercedes at the end of March 2023 to join Krauss-Maffei Wegmann. His successor has not yet been appointed. However, there will be a new addition to the team, as Katrin Lehmann, currently Head of Customer Innovation and Maintenance at SAP, will head the newly created IT Research & Development, Security and Data division starting May 1, 2023.