Industry insiders have often suspected the top job at BMW's Four Cylinder headquarters is cursed -- that is at least, half the time.
Seemingly without exception a failed CEO always follows a successful one. Bernd Pischetsrieder followed Eberhard von Kuenheim, Helmut Panke bowed out after Joachim Milberg and now Harald Krueger with Norbert Reithofer.
On Friday, the 53-year-old informed the supervisory board that he would not seek a second term when his current contract comes to an end after April 2020, citing his intention to pursue "new professional endeavors."
Whether he jumped or he was pushed is at the end of the day irrelevant as his authority had been too heavily undermined by press speculation of his imminent demise as CEO.
While the decision ultimately falls to the two Quand siblings that control the company, it was clear Krueger no longer enjoyed the confidence of his board room peers and subordinates. He simply lacked the strong leadership character that the company needed at a time when its chief rival, Mercedes was overtaking its seemingly insurmountable lead.
No doubt there were legacy problems as well as timing issues that could speak for a curse, but Krueger is very much responsible for his own failure.