FRANKFURT -- Daimler's supervisory board has chosen Michael Brecht as its deputy chairman replacing Erich Klemm, in a move that may smooth management-labor relations at the automaker.
Klemm, 60, has stepped down after 16 years on the board and will now begin a period of part-time work in preparation for early retirement, Daimler said in a statement.
Klemm was a vocal opponent of cutbacks at Daimler and last year forced managers to reassign cost-cutting specialist Wolfgang Bernhard as a condition of supporting a contract extension for CEO Dieter Zetsche.
Brecht, 48, has been a member of the board since 2012, and has forged a productive relationship with Bernhard who heads the trucks division at Daimler and is tipped as a future successor to Zetsche.
Brecht was appointed as chairman of Daimler's general works council on April 2 and has been a member of the works council at Mercedes’ plant in Gaggenau, Germany, since 1990, and its chairman since 1998.