Mercedes names global branding supremo

Mercedes Car Group has appointed BBDO Germany chief executive Olaf Göttgens to the new position of worldwide head of branding and marketing communications.

It is understood that Göttgens, who starts on February 1, will report directly to Mercedes head of sales and marketing Klaus Maier. It is thought he will be responsible for Mercedes’ brand work and agency relationships.

After starting BBDO Consulting in 1999, Göttgens was appointed chief executive and managing partner of BBDO Germany in 2004.

BBDO Worldwide president and chief executive Andrew Robertson says: “Göttgens had a great impact on our company. It is stronger as a result of his leadership.”

Maier, a former head of DaimlerChrysler’s European commercial vehicle division, replaced Joachim Schmidt as Mercedes’ top marketer earlier this year after a company shake-up aimed at addressing a decline in sales and profitability at the marque (MW March 17).

Schmidt had been head of sales and marketing at Mercedes since 1999. He joined Daimler Benz in 1979, leaving briefly in 1986, before returning to the company in 1988.

His departure followed a turbulent start to the year at DaimlerChrysler. The company was rocked by a sales scandal, while Mercedes’ 2004 fourth-quarter profit fell by 97 per cent to &£14m, as Smart continued to struggle.

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