Steve Cannon, President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA), is leaving the company after four years in his role at the top of Mercedes’ U.S. operations. His replacement is current vice president of sales for MBUSA Dietmar Exler, who will assume the role of President and CEO effective January 1, 2016.
Exler has been with Mercedes since 2004, when he started with DaimlerChrysler Financial Services in Michigan. After serving as vice president of sales for the past year, Exler, who is originally from Austria, will now take over the top post which includes overseeing Mercedes-Benz and Smart passenger car operations in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.
Cannon, who became MBUSA President and CEO in 2012, will assume a new role as CEO of AMB Group, the company that owns the Atlanta Falcons. Cannon first joined Mercedes-Benz in 1991 and was involved in the launch of the M-Class SUV in the late 1990s. After a stint away from MBUSA in retail and advertising, he then returned to Mercedes-Benz in 2007 as vice president of marketing for the U.S. and was named CEO in 2012. Mercedes-Benz and the AMB Group first began a partnership earlier this year, when the two companies announced that the Falcons’ new home stadium in Atlanta would be called “Mercedes-Benz Stadium.”
This executive change comes nearly a year after the company relocated its U.S. headquarters to Atlanta, Georgia, from Montvale, New Jersey. A new building is currently under construction and is estimated to be ready by 2017, and 1,000 Mercedes-Benz employees began the move from New Jersey in July. The new location places Mercedes-Benz closer to its production facility in Tuscaloosa, Albama, where the company currently builds the GLE- and GLS-Class SUVs along with the C-Class sedan.