Germany’s Daimler to add integrity executive to board following bribery case

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Germany’s Daimler to add integrity executive

BERLIN — German car maker Daimler AG announced plans Tuesday to add a new integrity officer to its management board, months after the company agreed to pay $185 million to U.S. authorities in a bribery case.

Daimler’s supervisory board approved the creation of the new “integrity and legal” post, the company said. It added the job would be filled by an external candidate but didn’t specify who that might be or when the new executive would start work.

The new officer will manage Daimler’s legal and compliance organization, as well as overseeing business ethics.

Daimler said it will “successively take further initiatives in addition to establishing this new board of management position.”

Earlier this year, Daimler agreed to $185 million in civil and criminal payments to U.S. authorities over bribes paid to win sales in various countries.

Daimler also agreed to have former FBI Director Louis Freeh monitor its compliance with anti-bribery steps for the next three years.

Daimler “will continue to consistently prioritize integrity as a key element of our corporate culture,” CEO Dieter Zetsche said. “No business in the world is worth violating applicable laws, regulations or ethical standards.”

The company noted that, over recent years, it already had installed a global compliance organization under which compliance officers have been placed in subsidiaries and operating units.

Tuesday’s company statement did not mention the bribery case directly.

Daimler shares were down nearly 0.7 percent in Frankfurt at euro46.11 ($62.10), while the DAX index of blue chip stocks was off 0.5 percent overall.

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