Klaus Zehender, 47
Procurement and Supplier Quality Head, Daimler
TITLE: Procurement and Supplier Quality Head
BASED: Stuttgart, Germany
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: Started his current job in 2012 and was promoted to the Mercedes-Benz Cars divisional board earlier this year to oversee the same duties. Served as head of procurement for Mercedes' car and van businesses from 2011-2013. Prior to that he was head of logistics at Mercedes' factory in Sindelfingen, Germany. Since joining what was then called Daimler-Benz in 1996, he also has held high-level positions in strategic planning, accounting and controlling.
REASON FOR WINNING:Zehender is the main reason why component makers ranked Mercedes No. 1 in Europe for its openness to new ideas, ease of working together and level of trust in Automotive News Europe's 2014 Suppliers Choice survey. Mercedes' rise to the top from No. 4 in 2013 coincides with the German executive's promotion to the key procurement position he now holds.