BERLIN (Bloomberg) -- Rainer Schmueckle, who lost his position overseeing Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz Cars unit to Wolfgang Bernhard, has left the automaker “by mutual agreement,” spokeswoman Ute Wueest von Vellberg said.
Schmueckle, 50, departed to take on “new challenges,” Wueest von Vellberg said today.
Bernhard, who rejoined Daimler in 2009 after a four-year absence, was appointed to oversee Mercedes' production and procurement in February, taking over responsibilities from Schmueckle, who was the unit's chief operating officer.
Dieter Zetsche, Daimler's CEO and head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, has shuffled management at the world's second-largest maker of luxury cars, which has fallen behind BMW AG and is under pressure from Volkswagen AG's Audi. Joachim Schmidt replaced Klaus Maier as Mercedes' sales and marketing chief in October 2009.
Daimler said in February it was in unspecified “discussions” with Schmueckle, who left the manufacturer on June 30.
Before overseeing production and purchasing at Mercedes, Schmueckle led a turnaround at Daimler's Freightliner U.S. heavy-trucks unit. He had worked at Daimler for 26 years.
“Daimler thanks Mr. Schmueckle for his many years of successful service and major contributions to the company's development, and it wishes him every success in the future,” Wueest von Vellberg said.