Mercedes announces changes in management


Mercedes-Benz has announced various new appointments in top management, affecting Level 1 below the Group Board of Management. Among others, Christoph Starzynski, currently Head of Development Electric Drive, will assume responsibility for the overall vehicle development of all Mercedes-Benz passenger car series as of 1 July 2023.

The series of new appointments was triggered by Wolf-Dieter Kurz, Head of Product Strategy & Steering: after 34 years with the company, Kurz decided to “begin a new phase of his life” at the end of March, according to the statement. Kurz’s duties will be taken over – with a one-month familiarisation period – by Oliver Thöne, currently Head of Production Planning Mercedes-Benz Cars, on 1 March 2023. Thöne will be succeeded on 1 June 2023 by Arno van der Merwe, currently CEO of Beijing Benz Automotive Co (BBAC) in China.

Jörg Bartels, Head of Complete Vehicle Integration in Passenger Car Development, will take over as head of BBAC on 1 July. This post will be taken over by Starzynski, the previous head of electric drive development. In the course of this personnel change, Starzynski will assume responsibility for the complete vehicle development of all Mercedes-Benz passenger car series. Torsten Eder, Head of Powertrain Development, will take over Starzynski’s role as Head of Electric Drive Development on 01.07.2023 and will manage the areas that have been combined until then, “subject to the approval of the relevant co-determination bodies”.

In the announcement, Mercedes also announces further Level 1 personnel changes: Philipp Schiemer, CEO of Mercedes-AMG GmbH & Head of Top End Vehicle (TEV) Group, will relinquish AMG management and, from April 2023, will focus on the Top End Customer and Community Management function at Mercedes-Benz AG, which is “a key component of the Mercedes-Benz strategy”. Schiemer has “contributed significantly to the success of Mercedes-AMG and has also driven the Maybach and G-Class product offensive”.

With a one-month transition, 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. In future, Schiebe will report directly to Markus Schäfer, the Mercedes board member responsible for development and purchasing.

In addition, Florian Hohenwarter, Head of Production Europe/Africa, will leave Mercedes at the end of March to join Krauss-Maffei Wegmann. His successor has not yet been appointed. On the other hand, there is another newcomer: Katrin Lehmann, currently Head of Customer Innovation and Maintenance at SAP, is to head the newly created IT Research & Development, Security and Data division from 1 May 2023.