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Daimler’s Zetsche Gets New Contract – And Pay Cut

Daimler’s Zetsche Gets New Contract – And Pay Cut

by on Feb.27, 2013

Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche gets a pay haircut. Photo by Len Katz.

The good news for Daimler AG Chairman Dieter Zetsche is that he’s got another three-year contract. But he’ll have to balance it against the nearly 6% pay cut he’s been ordered to take by the automaker’s supervisory board after the company missed its profit targets and palace intrigue at Daimler’s Stuttgart headquarters begins to intensify.

If misery loves company, Zetsche isn’t alone. As reported earlier this week, Volkswagen AG CEO Martin Winterkorn took a nearly $4 million haircut, though his pay still came to nearly $20 million.

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And then there’s General Motors Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson. Early reports indicated he was gunning for a 20% pay hike, which would bring his all-in compensation to $11 million. But with Washington bureaucrats criticizing recent increases in pay for executives at companies that survived the recession through federal bailouts, Akerson apparently decided he’s be comfy with the $9 million he got last year.


Daimler Chief Zetsche Facing Involuntary Manslaughter Probe

Exec was not behind wheel when accident occurred.

by on Sep.16, 2011

Daimler Chief Dieter Zetsche (l), with Nissan/Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn at the Frankfurt Motor Show this week.

Daimler AG Chief Executive Officer Dieter Zetsche is facing an involuntary manslaughter probe over the death of an engineer at a company test track in northern Germany, Stuttgarter Zeitung has reported.

The possible charges are considered unusual in that Zetsche was Zetsche was not behind the wheel of the car that crashed and, Daimler AG said in a statement, one court has already cleared the executive, of any charges of gross negligence.

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“In legal proceedings against the perpetrator of the accident before the Papenburg District Court on July 12, both the judge and the public prosecutor explicitly stated that the company Daimler, and consequently also the Chairman of the Board of Management, were in no way to blame,” the company said Friday.


Daimler’s Zetsche on a Tightrope

Daimler's CEO is struggling to keep momentum going.

by on Apr.13, 2010

A number of recent moves by Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche have come under fire.

Ever since he moved back to Stuttgart, after a 2005 tour of duty as Chrysler’s chief executive, Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche has been dogged by the lingering controversies left behind by his predecessor, Juergen Schrempp. In addition, Zetsche has been challenged by a series of new issues that have left the company poorer and its strategic direction open to challenge.

Zetsche was supposed to offer stability and tranquility after Schrempp’s stormy reign as CEO – which ended in an angry annual meeting, in Berlin, during the spring of 2005, when shareholders went after Schrempp with the kind of zest the Red Baron’s Flying Circus used to reserve for chasing down British aircraft in World War I air battles.  Schrempp’s few defenders in the hall were left pleading for civility.

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By comparison, Zetsche’s tenure has been reasonably tranquil, though he has nonetheless been left balancing precariously on the high-wire without much of safety net.