BMW’s top executive, Harald Krueger, has announced his intention to step down as complaints about the German automaker’s falling share price and slipping prices and the uncertainty hanging over the company’s expensive bet on electrification.
Krueger gave notice at the end of last week that he will not seek a second term of office.
BMW’s Supervisory Board is expected to pick a successor during its next meeting on July 18. Until a decision has been made Krueger will retain his position as Chairman of the Board of Management, BMW’s official announcement said.
“Over the last years, the automotive industry has been shaped by enormous changes, which have brought about more transformation than in the previous 30 years,” Krueger said in a statement announcing his intention to step aside.
“This has demanded tremendous efforts from every employee within the company. It has always been a true honor for me to work with this tremendous team and to set the BMW Group on a path towards a successful future during the most significant transformation of this industry.”
Krueger noted he’d spent 27 years at the Bavarian automaker and it was time to seek new challenges. Krueger’s announcement comes just a few months after he instituted several changes into the structure and executive personnel.
He became Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG on May 13, 2015, replacing Norbert Reithofer. At the time, BMW was enjoying great success as sales of luxury vehicles boomed in its home market in Europe as well as China and the United States.
Since then, however, China’s economy has slowed and BMW has been caught in the middle of the U.S.-China trade dispute, putting pressure on both its profitability and share price. AT the same time, the company was making major investments in battery electric vehicles and autonomous driving technology as well as walking back investments in diesel engines.
During his tenure, Krueger boosted partnerships – particularly in the area of breakthrough technologies such as highly automated driving. He also had a notable moment where he fell down and passed out just he started hosting a press event at the Frankfurt Motor Show in not long after assuming his leadership post in 2015.
In addition, the BMW Group merged its mobility services with Mercedes-Benz under the entity YOUR NOW. BMW also became the first international company to increase its share in its Chinese Joint Venture, BMW Brilliance Automotive to 75%.
“Over the last quarter century, Harald Krueger has demonstrated unwavering dedication to the BMW Group in all of the various positions he has held. I would like to express my sincere gratitude for his great personal commitment,” Reithofer said.