Currently reading: BMW names Oliver Zipse as new CEO
Electrification advocate succeeds Harald Kruger as the firm ramps up its EV development strategy

BMW has named Oliver Zipse, one of the driving forces behind its bold electrification programme, as its new CEO, replacing outgoing boss Harald Krüger

Zipse, who will assume his new role on 16 August, joined the company in 1991 as a development trainee and became a member of the board of management in 2015. 

The 55-year-old, in his previous positions as head of technical planning and head of group planning and production strategy, has been a driving force in BMW’s transition to electrification. He has advocated in-house component production, rather than using external contractors, as a means of conserving the company’s workforce.

He managed BMW’s Mini production facility in Oxford in 2007-2008, overseeing the increased robotisation of the plant’s production line and a significant boost in export rates. 

His appointment as CEO was welcomed by the company’s shareholders, with share prices rising 1.4% in the wake of the announcement. 

The chairman of BMW’s supervisory board, Norbert Reithofer, said: “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.”

Zipse, along with board member for R&D Klaus Fröhlich, was considered a favourite for the position when Krüger announced his plans to step down. 

Krüger’s departure comes following four years at the helm. The move was not unexpected, with the 53-year-old having a series of health problems since his appointment to the position in 2015.

During his tenure, Krüger was criticised for neglecting BMW’s i electric vehicle sub-brand and was held partly accountable for a significant drop in global sales tht resulted in the firm losing its long-held position as the number one premium automotive brand to Mercedes-Benz. 

Reithofer expressed “sincere appreciation [to Krüger] for his many years of successful work within the BMW Group”.

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Felix Page

Felix Page
Title: Deputy editor

Felix is Autocar's deputy editor, responsible for leading the brand's agenda-shaping coverage across all facets of the global automotive industry - both in print and online.

He has interviewed the most powerful and widely respected people in motoring, covered the reveals and launches of today's most important cars, and broken some of the biggest automotive stories of the last few years. 

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Real_sluggo 19 July 2019

Utah - the State of Mormons

A german who went to University in Utah - Mormon-land. This could spell trouble for BMW similiar to appointing the American Chris Bangle as Head of Design; and we all can recall how well that turned out for the 7 series... 

Thekrankis 19 July 2019

First job for new CEO:

Fire designer and recruit someone who can make BMW’s elegant and stylish again.