ATLANTA -- Dietmar Exler will join AMB Group, parent company of the NFL's Atlanta Falcons and MLS' Atlanta United FC, after he steps down as Mercedes-Benz USA CEO this summer.
Exler, 51, is teaming up with his former boss Steve Cannon, who left Mercedes-Benz USA in 2015 to lead Atlanta-based AMB Group, which is owned by Arthur M. Blank, co-founder of The Home Depot.
Cannon orchestrated the Mercedes-Benz headquarters relocation from New Jersey to Atlanta in July 2015 and was instrumental in securing naming rights to Atlanta's Mercedes-Benz Stadium, home of the Falcons and United FC.
Exler will serve as senior vice president and COO of AMB Sports and Entertainment. He will oversee Atlanta's Mercedes-Benz Stadium operations, including fan experience, private events, the stadium's tour business and security and retail. The stadium opened in August 2017 and this year hosted the Super Bowl.
"Dietmar brings tremendous operational experience and senior depth to our leadership team. ... He is an exceptional manager with diverse experience and a track record of success," Cannon said in a statement.
Exler, who led Mercedes to three straight U.S. luxury sales titles before a decline this year, announced his departure in a conference call with the brand's dealer board May 16. He leaves Mercedes at the end of June.
The executive walked away from the top job at MBUSA because career advancement in the organization would have required him to relocate outside the U.S., something he didn't want to do. Exler has lived in the U.S. for much of his career and attended the University of Chicago Law School.
Exler was offered a position in Germany, but he declined, according to two sources familiar with the situation.
Nicholas Speeks, who steered Mercedes-Benz sales in China for more than six years, has been named CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA and head of its North America region. Speeks, 60, previously was president of Mercedes-Benz Japan and has worked for the company in Japan, Dubai, Vietnam and Germany.