Pretoria – Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA), is preparing to welcome its first South African-born chief executive officer from March 1 2014.
Arno van der Merwe will then take over from Martin Zimmermann, who returns to the Daimler AG (DAG) Stuttgart offices as head of global service and parts for the Mercedes-Benz and smart brands.
Van der Merwe will retain his current role as vice president manufacturing at the MBSA production plant, in addition to his responsibilities as CEO of the company.
He was only the second South African to head up the internationally award-winning plant in East London in 2012.
This announcement by parent company DAG also accompanied a notification of changes to the Board of Directors at MBSA.
Prof. Dr Jürgen Schrempp has resigned from the MBSA board of directors, having served the company in various roles, since 1974. He will be replaced as chair by Dr Joachim Schmidt from January 2014.
"I am proud of Arno taking over from me. He has been groomed systematically during the past years to take over this senior leadership role," said Zimmermann.
"His experience, passion, dedication and people-oriented leadership style will allow MBSA to continue its drive towards becoming the undisputed leader in all segments where it competes, as well as to remain a passionate contributor to the socio-economic development and transformation of South Africa."
Naeem Hassim has been appointed co-CEO of MBSA's retail arm, Sandown Motor Holdings. He will be leading Sandown Motor jointly with its current CEO, Roy McAllister, until taking over the reins from McAllister in January 2015.
McAllister will remain a director and shareholder of Sandown thereafter.
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