Daimler on Thursday named Joachim Schmidt (61) to head Mercedes-Benz Cars sales and marketing.

He currently heads sales in central and eastern Europe, Africa & Asia and will replace Klaus Maier, who, the automaker said, “has decided not to extend his contract for personal reasons”.

Daimler chairman Dieter Zetsche complimented Maier for his work on brand positioning, “realignment of the product portfolio towards a younger target group” and “the reorganization of worldwide sales”.

“I very much regret that Klaus Maier would now like to leave his position for personal reasons,”  he added.

Schmidt has over 20 years’ experience in sales. Zetsche said: “[Schmidt is] an executive who knows the company better than most. It is largely thanks to him that the Mercedes-Benz brand grew at double-digit rates and extended its market leadership in the regions for which he was responsible in 2007 and 2008. I am delighted that we have gained him for this position.”