AUGUST 2, 2005
So who will run Mercedes-Benz?
Officially Eckhard Cordes is still the boss of Mercedes-Benz, but sources in Germany indicate that as soon as it became clear that Jurgen Schrempp, the boss of Mercedes's parent DaimlerChrysler, was going to be departing the business, Cordes made his feeling known to the company's supervisory board. Cordes was Schrempp's man but also seems to have been annoyed that he was passed over by the board, which picked Chrysler chief executive Dieter Zetsche to replace Schrempp.
The problem now is to figure out who will take over and speculation has been intense, with suggestions that the recently-retired Jurgen Hubbert might return to mind the store. There is also talk that Wolfgang Bernhard might be pulled back from Volkswagen where he washed up after being dumped by Schrempp last year when he challenged the logic of DaimlerChrysler's plans for Mitsubishi Motors. Bernhard has a good chance of becoming chief executive of Volkswagen when Bernd Pischetsrieder departs and may not want to disrupt that.
There are also rumours that Wolfgang Reitzle might return to the car industry from industrial group Linde where he has been exiled since being ousted from Ford's Premier Automotive Group.
The other option is that Zetsche will take someone from Chrysler and the name of Joe Eberhardt has been mentioned. He currently leads Chrysler's sales and marketing.
Come what may, however, with Zetsche in charge the future of Mercedes-Benz in F1 seems to be solid.
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