Milberg to step down at BMW

BMW chairman and chief executive Joachim Milberg is to retire at the company's annual meeting next May after three successful years running the company. Milberg is 58. He will be succeeded by Helmut Panke, who is currently BMW's chief financial officer.

Milberg was appointed at the end of a turbulent period in BMW history which resulted in the departure of both Bernd Pischetsrieder (now at Volkswagen) and Wolfgang Reitzle (now at Ford) and his appointment was always seen as interim decision. However BMW has done very well with him in charge and the switch to Panke is not a huge surprise. Panke is seen as a good solid manager and a good man to take over from Milberg. The early departure will avoid disruptive speculation about the future.

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