Mercedes have announced that Markus Schafer will be their new non-executive chairman, taking over the role from Niki Lauda who passed away earlier this year.
Lauda became an integral part of the Mercedes management team over the years, and was reportedly key in the team’s acquisition of Lewis Hamilton from McLaren for the 2013 Formula 1 season.
Following a period of ill-health over the latter part of 2018 into 2019 in which he was receiving dialysis treatment for kidney problems, the Austrian died at his home in May, surrounded by members of his immediate family.
The F1 world mourned as it lost one of its most charismatic personalities.
In the months after his passing, the Mercedes board of directors shared his responsibilities until a replacement could be found, which it now has.
Schafer, in charge of Daimler AG Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development, was a non-executive director before Lauda’s death, and will now officially take on the new role for the Silver Arrows.
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has praised the appointment.
“The commitment of our parent company has been fundamental to the team’s success and will continue to be so in the years ahead,” he said.
“This support for Formula 1 has always been reflected in our team’s board, with strong representation from Daimler’s senior leadership, and it continues through the appointments of Markus and Frank Markus for the years ahead.
“Formula 1 is a powerful technology and marketing platform for Mercedes-Benz globally, and a valuable shop window for the company’s values and its competitiveness.”
In a further shake-up of the structure, Frank Markus Weber has been named non-executive director following the departures of Ola Kallenius and Bodo Uebber.
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