Two German auto-related firms - Daimler and Schaeffler - have created new board level or senior management posts to look after corporate integrity and investors.

Daimler said it would create a new management board position for 'integrity and legal', recruiting from outside the automaker. The supervisory board said in a statement the new recruit's tasks "will include managing the global legal and compliance organisation and the related processes, as well as business ethics and the sustained anchoring of compliance and integrity throughout the group".

"As a matter of principal, Daimler aims to create a corporate culture that not only fulfills the requirements of applicable law, but also meets the highest ethical demands and is regarded as exemplary throughout the industry. To achieve this goal, Daimler will successively take further initiatives in addition to establishing this new... position."

The automaker also recently appointed a chief compliance officer, set up a global compliance organisation, placed compliance managers in subsidiaries and operating units and developed an international training programme

"Furthermore, whistleblower possibilities have been established at Daimler, allowing each employee as well as external personnel to inform the company of any compliance issues," the statement said.

News agency AFP noted that Daimler had pleaded guilty to US bribery charges. The company last April agreed to pay US$185m to settle US charges following a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) investigation into Daimler's worldwide sales practices.

Daimler admitted to making hundreds of improper payments worth tens of millions of dollars to foreign government officials in at least 22 countries between 1998 and 2008, according to a prosecution agreement filed in a Washington court.

The kickbacks of cash and gifts of luxury armoured cars, golf clubs and holidays helped secure government contracts worth millions of dollars in China, Russia, Thailand, Greece, Iraq and other countries, according to the charges.

Meanwhile, the Schaeffler Group said it was strengthening its capital markets communications and setting up a dedicated investor relations unit headed by Christoph Beumelburg (42). He took up his new post on 1 October and reports directly to CFO Klaus Rosenfeld.

Beumelburg joined Schaeffler - which got into financial trouble over its bid for the larger Continental Group - from BASF where he was responsible for investor relations in the US.

Rosenfeld said in a statement: “Beumelburg is a first-class professional with broad international experience in investor relations. His appointment represents a further step towards aligning the structures of the Schaeffler Group with the capital markets' needs.”

Conti drags Schaeffler into red