|Jürgen Schrempp celebrating his 40th anniversary with Daimler.|
Jürgen Schrempp was born in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany, on September 15, 1944. He served as CEO of Daimler-Benz AG and DaimlerChrysler AG (now Daimler AG) from May 1995 to December 2005. He was closely associated with the internationally known company for about 45 years.
Schrempp knew early on what he wanted. Following an apprenticeship at Daimler-Benz and after reading a mechanical engineering degree at the University of Applied Science in Offenburg, Germany, and beginning his career at the company’s headquarters in Stuttgart, he transferred to the subsidiary Mercedes-Benz of South Africa in 1974 to head customer service. He then moved to the United States where he served as president of Euclid Inc. from 1982 to 1984, overseeing the successful restructuring of the Daimler-Benz AG subsidiary in Cleveland, Ohio. He returned to South Africa in 1985 as president of Mercedes-Benz of South Africa. Even at that early stage he campaigned for the abolition of apartheid, a terrible system which in his opinion was unsustainable and could never be reformed.
In 1987, back in Germany, Schrempp became Deputy Board Member of Daimler-Benz AG responsible for commercial vehicles. In 1989 he was named CEO of Deutsche Aerospace AG, where he expanded the group’s activities in aerospace engineering. The company was known publicly by its acronym, DASA. Eight years later, Jürgen Schrempp and Jean-Luc Lagardère became the primary architects of the European Aeronautic, Defense and Space Company, or EADS. When the company’s founding was celebrated by Schrempp, Lagardère, German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin and Dominique Strauss-Kahn in Strasbourg on October 14, 1999, it was welcomed with enthusiasm throughout Europe. The new group immediately became the world’s third largest aerospace company, whose establishment was considered an important milestone in Europe’s competition with the United States.
In 1995, Schrempp was appointed CEO of Daimler-Benz AG, which at that time was highly diversified and loss-making. He succeeded in reorganizing the group and returned its focus to its original core business: being the development, production and marketing of passenger and commercial vehicles. Just a few years later the group was once again on a sound financial footing. Under Schrempp’s management, the purpose of this globally active automotive group was given a clear definition which, in 1998, led to the merger of the Daimler-Benz Group and the Chrysler Corporation, creating Daimler-Chrysler AG. From 2000, Schrempp was the sole CEO of this multinational enterprise with sales of EUR 150 billion and responsibility for 380,000 staff. He strengthened the global market position of the group, and its stock value rose from EUR 18 billion to over EUR 43 billion during his term as CEO from 1995 to 2005.
Schrempp has received numerous awards for his many international activities including the prestigious Premio Capo Circeo for his efforts in fostering international relations. He was awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany and in 1999 the Order of Good Hope which is the highest civil honour in South Africa for his dedication to the welfare of the country, partly – and indeed especially – for his endeavors during the difficult years of apartheid. The award was presented to him by his close friend and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Nelson Mandela. Furthermore, he gained the distinction of Commander of the French Legion of Honour for his contribution to the development of the European Aerospace Industry.
Schrempp has overcome many challenges throughout his career. In doing so, he has been able to rely on his extensive international experience, willingness to take risks and flexibility. He describes himself as an extremist – and is aware that he has occasionally been polarizing through his candour and direct manner. This has always been his motto. Those who know him describe Schrempp as a likable and congenial man with an engaging manner who has a highly valued view on matters, a keen sense of humor and an unshakeable sense of loyalty. He owes his indisputable success to these characteristics.
Schrempp became a global business leader in part because of his assertiveness. But, he has never been one to rest on his laurels. As before, he will continue to remain active and travel, using his contacts, knowledge and energy to motivate people to take an interest in others. As Chairman of SAFRI and Honorary General Consul for South Africa, he is convinced that commitment to this promising region is worthwhile – in politics, in business and on a human level. In fact, he believes that there is no other alternative.
His private life is equally dynamic. He, his second wife Lydia, and their two children live primarily in Munich, Germany, and Kitzbühel, Austria. He also has a home and various business interests in South Africa, his passion. He has two sons from his previous marriage, Alexander and Marc.
"IT WAS ONE OF THE MOST PROFESSIONAL AND BEST RELATION- SHIPS I'VE HAD IN MY CAREER."
Supervisory Board Chairman of DaimlerChryslerAG
(from 1998 to 2007).
Iron Mineral Beneficiation Services (IMBS) is a South African company focused on the production of metallic iron units. IMBS has developed Finesmelt™, a cost efficient technology capable of processing fine and superfine iron ore in an environmentally friendly manner.
Jürgen E. Schrempp is Chairman of the Board of Directors and Shareholders.