Mercedes names McKinsey exec Paul Gao to new post of chief strategy officer

Paul Gao will report to Mercedes CEO Ola Kallenius in his new position as chief strategy officer.

 

Mercedes-Benz has named Paul Gao, most recently a McKinsey executive in Hong Kong, to the new position of chief strategy officer.

                   Paul Gao will report to Mercedes CEO Ola Kallenius in his new position as chief strategy officer.

Mercedes-Benz has named Paul Gao, most recently a senior partner at McKinsey in Hong Kong, to the newly created post of chief strategy officer, with a special focus on Asian markets.

Gao has spent the last 20 years at McKinsey, where he has advised international and Chinese automakers on all aspects of the business, from product development to corporate strategy, Mercedes said in a news release on Tuesday.

At Mercedes, he will report to CEO Ola Kallenius and will steer the company’s overall strategy.

Gao has “essential know-how about China and other Asian growth markets,” Kallenius said in the release. “This makes Paul the right choice to further enhance the international profile of our brand, our management and our company.”

China is Mercedes’s largest market, with 758,863 sales in 2021, a decline of 2 percent over 2020. That represents about 36 percent of Mercedes’ global passenger car sales.

Chinese buyers prefer the automaker’s high-end offerings such as the S-Class, Mercedes-Maybach and G-Class, adding to the market’s importance as Kallenius seeks to raise Mercedes’ pricing and brand positioning across the board.

The automaker’s two largest individual shareholders are Chinese, with BAIC holding 9.98 percent of voting rights, and Geely Chairman Eric Li holding 9.69 percent.


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