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News of  February 1, 2000


Bob Eaton to Retire Following Record Year at DaimlerChrysler
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - Robert J. Eaton, Chairman of DaimlerChrysler AG, will retire March 31. Eaton, who became Chairman and CEO of Chrysler Corporation seven years ago, presided over the most successful period in the company's history, and forged an alliance with Daimler-Benz that resulted in the formation of DaimlerChrysler AG. Retired_Chairman_Eaton

Robert J. Eaton, Chairman of DaimlerChrysler AG

Photo: DaimlerChrysler

Eaton made the announcement at a meeting of DaimlerChrysler senior managers in Auburn Hills today, saying, "this is the right time for me to go." At the time of the merger of Daimler-Benz and Chrysler in November of 1998, Eaton was named Chairman of the new company along with the former Daimler-Benz Chairman Juergen Schrempp. It was intended that Eaton's role would be transitional, lasting until the merger of the two companies' operations was complete, but no longer than three years. "The merger is complete," Eaton told his management today. "The structure and future leadership is in place. The two companies are one, my goal has been accomplished. This is the right time for me to go." He said that DaimlerChrysler represents an "extremely successful merger of two strong companies, from different cultures, with complementary strengths and similar visions. It now has the potential to be the best car and truck company in the world. We have the leadership team in place that can make it happen."

During Eaton's tenure, Chrysler posted all-time record earnings. It introduced a new line-up of products that were among the most successful in their categories. In 1996, Chrysler Corporation was named by Forbes Magazine as the "Company of the Year." Eaton, who will be 60 next month, began his career at General Motors in 1963, as an engineer, and remained with that company for 29 years. At the time he was picked to be Chairman and CEO of Chrysler, he was president of General Motors Europe.

Eaton said: "The first full year of DaimlerChrysler has been a great one. Our sales revenues for 1999 are up about 12%. We sold 3.2 million Chrysler, Dodge, Plymouth, and Jeep(R) products -- more than any other year in history. We sold more than a million Mercedes-Benz passenger cars, and 550,000 commercial vehicles -- both also records." "Every achievement of this company in the future will bear a portion of Bob's legacy of leadership and vision" said Juergen Schrempp.

"Bob Eaton's dedication and role in the transition made DaimlerChrysler possible, and has been a key to its success." Hilmar Kopper, Chairman of DaimlerChrysler's Supervisory Board said, "We are sorry to see Bob leave, but he can be sure that we will continue to follow the example that he has set for this company." "Our success has been achieved by the blending and collaboration of the most talented U.S. and German executives," Bob Eaton said. "I am both proud of this team and confident that, under the leadership of Juergen Schrempp, this team will continue to achieve important objectives for our customers, shareholders, and employees," said Eaton at the management meeting.

(Jan. 26, 2000)


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