BMW has appointed a successor to Harald Krüger, appointing Oliver Zipse its next chief executive.
Zipse is the current head of production for BMW AG, but will take over as CEO on August 16. Krüger announced his resignation on July 8th, citing the "enormous exertion" involved in the role.
But there's more to the resignation than just over-exertion. BMW was one of the earliest movers in the pure-electric and hybrid space with the i3 and i8, but it has handed leadership to its German rivals – along with Tesla, of course – over the past four years.
Krüger delayed the launch of BMW's first long-range electric vehicle, which has been blamed for a mass exodus of high-ranking electric vehicle engineers within the company, and oversaw the development of the first pure-electric Mini.
Launched this month, the Cooper SE has 135kW/270Nm and a range of up to 270km. Compared to cars like the Hyundai Kona Electric, with its 450km 'real-world' range, the Mini's specs already lag behind the best in the business.
"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,” said Dr Norbert Reithofer, chairman of the supervisory board of BMW AG.
"The Supervisory Board greatly respects the decision by Harald Krüger and today expressed our sincere appreciation for his many years of successful work within the BMW Group. On behalf of the entire company, we all wish him all the best in the future and hope that the BMW Group will always have a special meaning for him."