Automaker Daimler says that CEO Dieter Zetsche will be succeeded next year by Mercedes-Benz development and research head Ola Kallenius.

FILE – In This April 5, 2018 file photo Dieter Zetsche, CEO of the Daimler AG, speaks during the annual shareholders’ meeting of the car maker in Berlin. Daimler AG said Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018 that Kallenius will take over as the company’s CEO in 2019. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber, file)
FILE – In this April 5, 2018 file photo Dieter Zetsche, CEO of the Daimler AG, walks over the stage during the annual shareholders’ meeting of the car maker in Berlin. Daimler AG said Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018 that Ola Kallenius will take over as the company’s CEO in 2019. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber, file)

The company said Wednesday in a statement that Zetsche would be proposed to become head of the board of directors in 2021.

FILE – In this March 29, 2017 file photo Daimler board member Ola Kallenius attends the shareholders’ meeting in Berlin. Daimler AG said Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018 that Kallenius will take over as the company’s CEO in 2019. (Serene Stache/dpa via AP)
FILE – In this June 17, 2015 file photo Mercedes board member Ola Kallenius speaks at the presentation of the new Mercedes-Benz GLC in Metzingen, Germany. Daimler AG said Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018 that Kallenius will take over as the company’s CEO in 2019. (Marijan Murat/dpa via AP)
FILE – In this Jan. 14, 2018 file photo Daimler AG Chairman Dr. Dieter Zetsche, stands with former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger as they prepare to drink schnapps after the world premiere of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class during a preview day before the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Daimler AG said Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018 that Ola Kallenius will take over as the company’s CEO in 2019. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, file)

Zetsche’s contract was to expire next year. Kallenius had figured prominently in speculation about who would succeed him.

FILE – In this April 5, 2018 file photo Dieter Zetsche, right, CEO of the Daimler AG, and Manfred Bischoff, right, Chairman of the board of the Daimler AG, pose for media prior to the shareholders meeting of the car maker in Berlin. Daimler AG said Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018 that Ola Kallenius will take over as the company’s CEO in 2019 and Zetsche will succeed Bischoff later on. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber, file)
FILE – In this Jan. 9, 2017 file photo Ola Kallenius, member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development speaks at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Daimler AG said Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018 that Kallenius will take over as the company’s CEO in 2019. (AP Photo/Paul Sancta, file)

Kallenius would take over Zetsche’s dual mandate as head of Daimler AG and of its luxury division Mercedes-Benz, the pillar of its profits.

Source: The Associated Press