BMW names new boss as it looks to speed up electric transition

Production chief Oliver Zipse, who started as a trainee at BMW in 1991, has been named the German car giant’s new boss. (AFP pic)

BERLIN: BMW said Thursday that its production chief Oliver Zipse will replace Harald Krueger as chief executive in August, as the German auto giant looks to accelerate its transition to electric cars.

Krueger, who had been criticised for not steering the group quickly enough towards electric technology, said earlier this month that he would not seek another term when his current office runs out next April.

However, BMW’s supervisory board said in a statement on Thursday that Zipse will take his place on Aug 16.

Zipse, 55, began as a trainee at BMW in 1991 and has since held various management positions.

As current head of the product division, he supervised 31 factories worldwide as they were in the process of transitioning to electric car production.

The other main contender to head the car behemoth was believed to have been BMW research chief Klaus Froehlich.

One of the main tasks facing the new boss will be shifting gears to an electric future ahead of tougher anti-pollution measures gradually coming into force in the EU.

Supervisory board chairman Nobert Reithofer said that “decisive strategic and analytical leader” Zipse will “provide the BMW Group with fresh momentum in shaping the mobility of the future”.