Daimler CEO gets contract extended after record profits

FRANKFURT – Car, truck and bus maker Daimler AG has given CEO Dieter Zetsche a three-year extension of his contract, a few days after the company reported record annual profits.

Zetsche’s contract would have run out at the end of this year but will now run through the end of 2019.

The extension announced Tuesday was expected because board chairman Manfred Bischoff had already said last year that directors wanted to keep Zetsche on.

Zetsche, 62, combines the position of overall CEO with running the company’s flagship Mercedes-Benz luxury car business, the main pillar of its profits.

The company made 8.9 billion euros ($9.8 billion) last year, up from 7.3 billion euros in 2014. Mercedes-Benz sold 16 per cent more cars, including 41 per cent more in China. The company raised its dividend to investors to 3.25 euros from 2.45 euros, while German factory employees got profit-sharing checks worth $5,650 ($6,215) each.

The company also announced that the head of car development for Mercedes, Thomas Weber, would be leaving the company at his own request. Weber, 61, is being succeeded by Mercedes marketing and sales executive Ola Kaellenius, 46.