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Dieter Zetsche
  Dieter Zetsche

EVENT: WDI Co-hosts President and CEO of Chrysler Group

3/3/2005 --

Dieter Zetsche will discuss the global merger of Daimler-Benz and Chrysler Corp.

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—Chrysler Group President and CEO Dieter Zetsche will speak at 5 p.m. March 8 at Hale Auditorium at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. His talk is sponsored by the William Davidson Institute (WDI) at the Ross School and the U-M European Union Center.

Zetsche's talk is titled "Managing the Global Firm: Applying the Lessons of a Transatlantic Merger."

The $36 billion marriage of Germany's Daimler-Benz and Chrysler Corp. in 1998 made headlines worldwide as businesses watched to see if the global merger between the two companies with different cultures could succeed. It spawned accusations and lawsuits contending that the so-called "merger of equals" was really a takeover by the German car company.

There was further friction following the merger after some Chrysler executives at the company's Auburn Hills headquarters were replaced by their German counterparts. Zetsche, who also is a member of the Board of Management of DaimlerChrysler AG, was named Chrysler CEO in November 2000. He joined the company in 1976 in its research department. Prior to his current position, he held several domestic and international management positions including chief engineer of Mercedes-Benz, Brazil; president of Mercedes-Benz, Argentina; and president of Freightliner Corp., United States.

Raised and educated in Frankfurt, Germany, Zetsche received his master's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Karlsruhe in 1976 and his doctoral degree in mechanical engineering from the Paderborn Technical University in 1982.

WDI's mission is to help countries make the transition from a command to a free-market economy through a program of project-based assistance, customized education, faculty and student development and research.

The event is open to the public.

For more information on the institute, please visit

For more information, contact:
Heather Thorne
Phone: (734) 936-8421