Mercedes-Benz has reshuffled its executive team, with Michael Schiebe taking over as head of the performance AMG division and Top End Vehicle group from Philipp Schiemer, who will lead a new Top End Customer and Community Management function.
Schiebe is currently chief of staff to Mercedes CEO Ola Kallenius. He starts in his new position March 1, and will report to Markus Schaefer, chief technology officer.
Schiemer was named head of Mercedes-AMG in 2020 added responsibility for the whole Top End Vehicle group, including Maybach and G-Class, in April 2021. He has been with Mercedes/Daimler since 1987, including 18 years in Brazil in various management functions.
Kallenius is emphasizing sales of top-end vehicles in an effort to improve margins. Sales in the Top End Vehicle division were up 14 percent in 2022 to 83,000 units, while overall passenger car sales were down by 1 percent.
In addition to the change at AMG/Top End Vehicle group, Mercedes announced other executive moves in a news release on Tuesday:
- Wolf-Dieter Kurz, head of product strategy and steering, will leave Mercedes after 34 years. Before his appointment as head of overall product strategy, Kurz was responsible for the compact and SUV product group. He was also CEO of Mercedes-Benz Turkey.
- Oliver Thoene, head of production planning for Mercedes-Benz cars, will succeed Kurz.
- Thoene’s position will be filled by Arno van der Merwe, now CEO of Beijing Benz Automotive Company, a joint venture with BAIC Group in China.
- In turn, Joerg Bartels, head of passenger car vehicle integration, will take over Thoene’s position in China.
- Christoph Starzynski, a 2021 Automotive News Europe Eurostar and head of development, electric drive, will succeed Bartels. He will also assume responsibility for complete vehicle development.
- Torsten Eder, head of development, powertrain, will take over Starzynski’s electric drive role and run the merged powertrain divisions.
- In addition, Florian Hohenwarter, now head of production for Europe/Africa, will leave Mercedes for a position at Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, a defense contractor.