Supply Chain Matters has previously called attention to executives with supply chain focused leadership experience ascending to higher levels of senior management. Our last commentary of this nature focused on the ascendancy of Mary Barra as CEO of General Motors.
Now, BMW joins such ranks with the announcement that Harald Kruger will take over as CEO in May 2015. BMW’s current CEO Dr. Norbert Reithofer will step down from the CEO slot a year earlier than planned, because of upcoming changes in German law related to the composition of Supervisory Boards.
According to a BMW Blog posting, Kruger stood out as the most likely board member to step- up and take the reigns for the next era of leadership at BMW. In its announcement, BMW indicates that Reithofer would move to head the supervisory board of the auto maker, while production executive Harald Krüger would become the BMW’s new chairman.
Similar to the prior background of Mary Barra, Krüger is an engineer by training, and his previous background within BMW includes roles within manufacturing, product planning and management as well as human resources. A review of his CV of indicates that he began his career in the Technical Planning and Production division and from 1993-1995, worked as a project engineer for plant assembly at the Spartanburg South Carolina production facility. From 1997-2000, Krüger was the head of the Strategic Production Planning department in Munich, and served later positions as Director of Engine Production in the UK and Director of Technical Integration. He he was also responsible for brand management of the MINI, BMW Motorrad and Rolls-Royce brands. Since April of 2013, Krüger has served as Director of BMW Global Production.
According to reporting by The Wall Street Journal, Krüger at 49 years old would become the youngest CEO of any major car maker and signals a “generational change” for BMW leadership. That was obviously another criteria.
Once again it is great to observe that those who served under the umbrella of supply chain, manufacturing or product management operations can have a path for becoming CEO.
These are executives who know that supply chains do matter.