DaimlerChrysler’s Incoming Chairman Honored During the National Conference for Community and Justice of Michigan’s 58th Annual Humanitarian Gala
Dearborn, Mich, Dec 8, 2005 –
Dieter Zetsche, Member of the Board of Management of DaimlerChrysler AG and Head of the Mercedes Car Group, today was named 2005 Humanitarian of the Year by the National Conference for Community and Justice (NCCJ). Zetsche accepted the award at the NCCJ’s 58th Humanitarian awards luncheon in Dearborn, Mich.
“During his tenure at the Chrysler Group, Dr. Zetsche worked tirelessly to enhance the image of the city, and as President and CEO of the Chrysler Group, initiated significant efforts to enrich the Chrysler Group’s commitment to diversity,” said Dr. Daniel Krichbaum, President and CEO, NCCJ.
The NCCJ’s Humanitarian of the Year award was established in 1947 to encourage the importance of urging civic leaders to draw upon the area’s diversity and use it as an incentive for progress and growth rather than as a source for division among cultural groups.
“Supporting diversity must go far beyond corporate slogans, ad placements or program sponsorships,” said Zetsche. “Supporting diversity requires strong economic and corporate commitment. My time at the Chrysler Group allowed me to promote one of the greatest strengths of our company and the surrounding communities, its diversity.”
Past recipients of the NCCJ humanitarian award include Anthony F. Earley, Dr. Kenneth Burnley, Ph.D., Max M. Fisher, Harry Pearce, Michael Berry, Dennis W. Archer and the late Rosa L. Parks.
Zetsche has been a member of the DaimlerChrysler AG Board of Management since 1998, and will assume responsibility as Chairman of the Board of Management on Jan. 1, 2006. Zetsche served as the Chrysler Group’s President and CEO from 2000 until September of this year. Currently, he is responsible for the Mercedes Car Group.
After joining DaimlerChrysler in 1976 as an engineer in the Research Division, Zetsche moved up through the organization by assuming responsibilities within multiple divisions of the company. He has served as President of Mercedes-Benz and Freightliner Corporation. After joining the Mercedes-Benz AG Board of Management in 1995, Zetsche headed the Sales Divisions of Mercedes-Benz AG, Daimler-Benz AG, and DaimlerChrysler AG, along with its Commercial Vehicle Division in 1998.
During his tenure in Detroit, Zetsche initiated significant efforts to enrich the Chrysler Group’s commitment to diversity. His dedication to strengthening the community has been witnessed through his Chairmanship of several local charities including the United Way of Southeast Michigan’s 2005 Torch Drive. He also assumed leadership roles with Detroit Renaissance, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Capuchin Soup Kitchen, Michigan Opera Theater, Automotive Youth Education System, the Economic Club of Detroit and the Economic Alliance of Michigan.
Zetsche was born in Istanbul, Turkey. After attending school in Frankfurt and obtaining the Abitur (university entrance examination), he studied electrical engineering and graduated in 1976 from the University of Karlsruhe. Zetsche completed a doctorate in engineering in 1982 at the Technical University of Paderborn.
Chrysler Group’s diversity initiatives have been recognized by several leading publications and organizations. Working Mother magazine has named the Chrysler Group one of its “100 Best Companies” eight times. Additionally, LATINA Style Magazine awarded the Chrysler Group the 2005 LATINA Style 50 and the Hispanic Publishing Group named the company to Hispanic Magazine’s Corporate 100 List for 2005. The Company has also been honored as “Corporation of the Year” by the National Minority Supplier Development Council three times and by the Michigan Minority Business Development Council five times. Since 1983, the Chrysler Group has been a leader in supporting minority business enterprises. Last year, the Chrysler Group sourced 12 percent — or $3.4 billion — of its total spend from minority-owned suppliers. It has been recognized by DiversityInc as one of the “Top 50” companies for its employee initiatives. The Company was also recently recognized for its workplace diversity programs with a Mosaic Award from the American Advertising Federation.
The NCCJ (The National Conference for Community and Justice of Michigan) is a non-profit organization that seeks to reduce discrimination and racism by working proactively across racial, religious, ethnic and other cultural boundaries. Known historically as The National Conference for Christians and Jews, NCCJ assists in building more inclusive communities and institutions through conflict resolution, diversity training and advocacy. NCCJ’s supporters include major corporations, national and local philanthropic organizations, government agencies, and many community groups and organizations.