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Stung By Bribery Scandal, Daimler To Hire Chief Integrity Officer

Move follows payment of $185 mil fine to U.S. DoJ.

by on Sep.29, 2010

Preventing further ethical lapses has a "high priority," says Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche.

Stung by a $185 million fine for violating U.S. anti-corruption laws as the result of a global bribery scandal, Daimler AG said its moving to create a new position on the company’s board of management to oversee “Integrity and Legal.”

The new position was created by the German automaker’s supervisory board, which said the role of Chief Integrity Officer will be filled by an executive-level employee hired from outside the company.  The job duties will include managing Daimler’s global Legal and Compliance Organization and the related processes, as well as overseeing business ethics inside the company.

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“As a matter of principal, Daimler aims to create a corporate culture that not only fulfills the requirements of applicable law, but also meets the highest ethical demands and is regarded as exemplary throughout the industry. To achieve this goal, Daimler will successively take further initiatives in addition to establishing this new Board of Management position,” the company said in a statement.

Earlier this year, the Stuttgart-based company, parent of Mercedes-Benz and Smart, acknowledged a series of ethical breaches occurred despite having put in place an ethical behavior policy back in 1999.  Breaches – including the use of bribes to secure business in 22 countries — continued through 2008, according to the U.S. government, and eventually netted the company about $90 million.