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Krause a Big Loss To BMW

Posted by: David Kiley on March 13, 2008

The departure of Stefan Krause, the BMW board member in charge of sales and marketing, is a blow to the German carmaker.

I sat next to Krause at dinner at the Detroit Auto Show last January, and had heard from many sourcves in and out of BMW that Krause was a lock to be CEO at BMW. He certainly comes across that way. Reporters tend to know future CEOs when we see them. And Krause was the goods. Smart, visionary, a numbers animal and charm to spare. That’s a rare combo.

Krause, 45, is leaving to become CFO at Deutsche Bank, where he is now a candidate to eventually become CEO.

Krause is replaced by Ian Robertson, 49, who also remains CEO of BMW’s luxury brand Rolls-Royce until a successor is found.

Krause was BMW’s CFO before the company announced in September as that he would swap jobs with then-sales chief Michael Ganal starting last October.

Reader Comments


March 13, 2008 2:48 PM

Well, as they say uptown, "They come and they blow", or something like that. Better off at the bank where he will sleep more soundly during the day. And besides, a Mercedes Benz mit driver is no doubt a perq. Beats riding in a second tier brand tail down.

Then again, this defection has to do with loyalty (or lack of it), ego, greed and several other factors executives tend to be driven by. Somewhat more intense than acted out in the hum drum behavior of the every day work experience.

If only GM's Wagoner and Lutz would get the urge to shove off, but this time, for the good of the company. Not that I believe for a second that GM has a lock on survival in the auto wars, not with its sorry rep. But then the other side of that is the need for competition in our market by those moving in so successfully. This will keep them sharp, on top of it and ahead of the rest, Chiner (Kennedyesque) and India come to mind. And one of these days, the Koreans will finally clean up their act in terms of much improved mechanical content to match what is so easily seen in decent fit and finish.


March 14, 2008 5:35 AM

Reporter David Kiley writes that "the departure of Stephan Krause is a blow to the German auto maker,.... Reporters tend to know future CEOs when we see them," and "Krause was(sic) the goods." For the evening, Mr. Kiley's adulation of Mr. Krause is uninhibited for he later shamelessly embellishes him with "Smart.Visionary. Charm to spare. That's a rare combo." Are these adjectives given objectively or self servingly? Because one man has the ability to preside over a corporation while the other man "arbite" among the "Volkes" it would appears that Mr. Kiley's annointing is really a form of self annointing.
Such self appointed authority to bestow titles to another is self flattery given to one self without even a blush is worthy of a few comments.
We get some clues as to the social dynamic between these two gentlemen while Mr. Kiley proudly sat next to Mr. Krause at dinner at the Detroit Auto Show. Is it possible that Mr. Krause serendaded him; whispered sweet-nothings in his ear and caressed his already massive ego? That special and ego-stroking evening must have had profound effects on Mr. Kiley for he lavishes all over Mr. Krause in this write-up and noting in particular Mr. Krause's future CEO candidacy at Deutsche Bank. What could possibly explains Mr. Kiley's exceptional perception of a future CEO at a big bank? Perhaps a future assistant position at a financial institution?
Talk about major brown nosing while stroking your own ego......


March 27, 2008 1:06 AM

I wouldn't have bothered, until I read Snoz.

I worked with and for Stefan Krause. He is an amazingly talented executive, with a gift for managing people and divining strategy, and making it happen.

And, having worked in the auto industry, I have worked for or met, alas, way too many who believed their press. The industry is dominated by, oh forget it...

Stefan Krause is the exception; the real deal. That he was not raised in Germany may account for part of it.

He's done the big jobs at BMW. BMW is a loathsomely political organization. God only knows how the whole bet on the dollar played out internally. It wouldn't surprise me to learn that Stefan decided he'd had enough of the car business already. He's brilliant --and highly pragmatic.

While it is a HUGE loss for BMW, good for Deutsche Bank, and fare theewell, Stefan.

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