Jürgen E. Schrempp
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Jürgen Erich Schrempp (born September 15, 1944 in Freiburg) was until December 31, 2005, the CEO of DaimlerChrysler, a German-American car and truck manufacturer. Following a decision of the board taken on July 28, 2005, he was succeeded on January 1, 2006, by Chrysler frontman Dieter Zetsche. Schrempp was the architect of the merger joint venture between Daimler Benz and Chrysler, which ultimately ended in failure.
During his tenure, Daimler-Benz made the 80% acquisition of the Chrysler Corporation to become DaimlerChrysler. Schrempp called the merger a "match made in heaven". In addition to the acquisition of Chrysler, Schrempp pursued the acquisition of Mitsubishi Motors as part of his 'Three Pillars' strategy to expand the reach of Daimler-Benz into the major markets of the USA and Asia.
In 2004, the Mitsubishi investment became a liability with the Japanese manufacturer swamped under a mountain of debt and following a refusal by other members of the Japanese Mitsubishi keiretsu to assist Daimler in funding its operation on-going. The German company eventually 'walked away' with further substantial losses. On 14 May 2007, Daimler sold 80% of Chrysler to the private equity firm Cerberus.
Before becoming the CEO of Daimler-Benz in 1995, Schrempp headed the aerospace division of Daimler-Benz, then called DASA, which is EADS today. DASA acquired the Dutch aircraft manufacturer Fokker that was already in problems in 1993 after it signed the contract stating the intention to take Fokker over on October 30, 1992. Schrempp called Fokker his "love baby". On January 22, 1996, after having subsidized the losses of Fokker with billions of Deutsche Marks, Daimler-Benz decided to stop putting more money into Fokker that subsequently went bankrupt.
Schrempp is a Director of the South African Coal, Oil and Gas Corporation Ltd., and Compagnie Financière Richemont S.A., Switzerland. Additional engagements include the Chairmanship of United Global Academy - UGA, the Advisory Board of Deutsche Bank, the European Advisory Board of Harvard Business School, and the German Council of INSEAD. He is also on the board of Transnet.
Schrempp is the recipient of:
- Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
- Bavarian Order of Merit
- Medal of Merit of the Federal State of Baden-Württemberg
- Commander of the National Order of Merit of the French Republic
- Commander of the French Legion of Honour
- The Vatican City’s Cross of the St. Gregorius Order
- Austrian Grand Decoration of Honor in Gold with Star for Services
- Brazilian Southern Cross.
- Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship
Schrempp mainly resides in Munich, Germany and Kitzbuehel Austria where his wife, Lydia Schrempp, owns an italian restaurant. He has been married to Lydia since 2000, with whom he has a daughter called Loana Theresa (born in 2001) and a son called Luca-Timon (born in 2005). Schrempp also has two sons, Alexander and Marc, from his previous marriage to Renate Lutz. Schrempp created controversy at the time of the Daimler-Chrysler merger when he publicly implied that his career was a greater priority than his wife. After 30 years of marriage to Renate Lutz, Schrempp explained that "I was faced with the choice: work or marriage. And I realized that the challenges of this new venture meant more to me than anything else in the world." While still married in 1998, Schrempp attended a company party where he was alleged to have departed the event carrying his female assistant Lydia Deininger (now his wife) over his shoulder, while carrying a bottle of champagne in his hand.
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