Germanys Daimler picks U.S. executive to lead global trucks operations

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BERLIN Daimler (DAIGn. DE) has picked the head of its North American trucks division to run group-wide truck operations, it said on Monday, avoiding a lengthy search for a successor to departed chief Wolfgang Bernhard. Bernhard, 56, once seen as a candidate to succeed Daimler Chief Executive Diete Zetsche, stepped down a year before his contract was due to expire, the carmaker said this month. Martin Daum, 57, president and chief executive of Daimler's trucks business in North America, was appointed by the company's supervisory board to top management effective on March 1 for a five-year period, Daimler said. Daum has run Daimler's heavy-duty vehicle business in North America since 2009, having previously held a top management post at the company's European trucks division with responsibility for Daimler's huge trucks plant in Woerth, Germany.

"We are convinced that he will successfully meet the upcoming challenges in the next years," Daimler Chairman Manfred Bischoff said in an emailed statement.

Stuttgart-based Daimler's announcement confirms a Reuters story published earlier on Monday saying that the succession void left by Bernhard's departure would be resolved soon.