In a surprise move, Paul Halata, CEO of Mercedes-Benz UK, was named to succeed Mike Jackson as president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA Inc.
Halata, 49, joined the company in 1972, at Mercedes-Benz Canada, where he was president from 1989 to 1995.
Joe Eberhardt, 36, marketing vice president of Mercedes-Benz USA, who had been considered an heir-apparent to Jackson, becomes CEO of Mercedes-Benz UK instead.
That job will be expanded, and Eberhardt also will have responsibility for the Chrysler, Plymouth, Jeep and Dodge brands. The subsidiary will be renamed DaimlerChrysler UK Jan. 1.
Ironically, Jackson recently unveiled a slew of policies called The Mercedes Experience, to keep customers coming to authorized Mercedes dealers, instead of jumping to alternatives such as AutoNation.