Wolfgang Bernhard

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Wolfgang Bernhard (born 3 September 1960) was a member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG.[1] He served as the former President and COO of Chrysler from 2000 to 2004.[2]

Early life[edit]

Bernhard was born Wolfgang Ayerle on 3 September 1960 in Böhen, Germany. He grew up as one of nine children and later took his mother's maiden name. He earned a master's degree in electrical engineering and economics from Technical University of Darmstadt in 1986, an MBA from Columbia Business School in 1988, and a doctorate in economics from Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in 1990.[3]


After obtaining his doctorate degree, Bernhard joined McKinsey & Company in 1990 as a management consultant. In this capacity, he was assigned to Mercedes-Benz. In 1992, he joined Mercedes-Benz AG. Bernhard became CEO of Mercedes-AMG in 1999. Following the merger of Daimler-Benz and Chrysler in 1998, Bernhard was appointed President and COO of the Chrysler division in 2000.[4] He continued in the position until he was slated to become the head of the Mercedes-Benz group in May 2004, but was passed over for the job just a day before his official switch. Bernhard subsequently resigned.[5] Bernhard then served as the CEO of the Volkswagen brand for Volkswagen AG from 2005 to 2007.[6] He was ousted from this position in January 2007 by Ferdinand Piech.[7][8][9] Bernhard then rejoined Daimler in April 2009, and was on the Board of Management member responsible for commercial vehicles..[10]

On 9 February 2017, Wolfgang Bernhard announced that he would not renew his contract with Daimler in January 2018. On 10 February, Daimler let him go.[11][12]