BMW Group appointed Nicolas Peter as chief financial officer to succeed veteran Friedrich Eichiner who will retire, extending a management change that began when Harald Krueger took over as CEO last year.
Peter, 54, who has led BMW's European sales operations since 2011, will take on the role as of Jan. 1, 2017, the automaker said Thursday in a statement. Eichiner, 61, was instrumental in devising BMW's shift into electric cars.
The changeover in the senior ranks occurs as BMW comes under pressure to keep pace with Mercedes-Benz, which is on track to outsell BMW for the first time in more than a decade. Krueger has vowed to defend BMW's position as a luxury-car leader and plans to roll out more high-end models to help finance a transition to self-driving, electric cars. Peter, who joined BMW in sales financing in 1991, will be tasked with keeping profitability stable as pressure to invest increases.
"Nicolas Peter is not only a proven financial expert, but also knows the sales business well from his years of experience in that field," BMW Chairman Norbert Reithofer said in the statement.
Most of BMW's senior management skipped the Paris auto show this year to discuss the company's electric-car strategy.