Current BMW CEO Harald Krueger will officially be stepping down on August 15th to make way for his successor, Oliver Zipse (second from left, above) who was officially announced Thursday. The 55-year-old has been on BMW’s board since 2015 as head of manufacturing, and will step up to the top role on the following day.
Zipse has been with the BMW organization since 1991 when he joined as a trainee, and has graduated up through the ranks ever since. While it is nice to see BMW rewarding a life lived in service of the company, is the future of the company best left in the hands of a man who has known no other corporation or culture?
“With Oliver Zipse, a decisive strategic and analytical leader will assume the Chair of the Board of Management of BMW AG. He will provide the BMW Group with fresh momentum in shaping the mobility of the future,” said Nobert Reithofer, Chairman of BMW’s Supervisory Board.
Continuing, “The Supervisory Board greatly respects the decision by Harald Krüger and today expressed our sincere appreciation for his many years of successful work within the BMW Group. On behalf of the entire company, we all wish him all the best in the future and hope that the BMW Group will always have a special meaning for him.”
Given BMW’s need, and the board’s desire, to excel in the electrified mobility market, Zipse has his work cut out for him. This may be an interesting few years of massive forward motion for BMW. Having seen the company decline into something of a doldrums state, I’m curious to see if Zipse has the cojones to take larger strides than his predecessor had. Is this the return of a Good BMW?