Wolfgang Reitzle wants to turn Linde, a German producer of industrial gases, into the 'world market leader for the fuel of the future.'
Reitzle plans to set up a new Linde division to concentrate on hydrogen research. Linde will work closely with BMW on the project.
'There is a great potential at Linde,' said Reitzle.
Reitzle's move to Linde was supported by Hans Meinhardt, chairman of the supervisory board, and Josef Ackermann, the new board spokesman for Deutsche Bank and member of the Linde supervisory board.
According to confidants, the Linde job could eventually provide Reitzle with a route back into the auto industry. Deutsche Bank is a major shareholder in both Linde and DaimlerChrysler - and Ackermann is one of DaimlerChrysler Chairman Jürgen Schrempp's strongest critics.