BMW production chief Harald Krueger will replace Norbert Reithofer as CEO and management board chairman in May 2015

BMW production chief Harald Krueger will replace Norbert Reithofer as CEO and management board chairman in May 2015

BMW said on Tuesday management board chairman Norbert Reithofer would move to chair the supervisory board while production chief Harald Krueger would become management board chairman.

Kraus Froelich has been named to the management board responsible for development.

BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer will step down from his post and be replaced by Harald Krueger, the company's 49 year old production chief.

Reithofer has run BMW since 2006 and will succeed Joachim Milberg as head of the supervisory board, BMW said in a statement on Tuesday.

Krueger's appointment is effective on 13 May, 2015, at the end of the automaker's annual meeting, BMW said.

Reithofer, 58, whose contract term as CEO ends in 2016, will be put forward for election as supervisory board chairman at the meeting and Milberg will step down.

Milberg "will take on a leading role connected with the BMW Group's worldwide CSR activities and charitable foundations," the statement said.

"The automotive industry is undergoing a fundamental shift. Those who want to play an active role in shaping tomorrow’s mobility need constantly to find viable solutions to future challenges. The [group] plans to maintain its leading role in the premium segment. To achieve this, we have to hand over responsibility to the next generation at an appropriate time," Milberg said.

"We have taken the first steps for a generational change, which combines the need for continuity and experience with the creative energy of the younger generation," said Stefan Quandt, deputy chairman of the supervisory board.

Froehlich will become development chief with immediate effect. The 54 year old replaces Herbert Diess, who is moving to Volkswagen to head the core VW brand.

Froehlich joined BMW in 1987 and was in charge of the small and midsize series product line before his latest promotion.

Krüger joined BMW in 1992 and has been a member of the management board since December 2008 responsible for human resources. In June 2012, he took over responsibility for Mini, Motorrad, Rolls-Royce and aftersales. In April 2013 he took over production.

Reithofer joined in 1987 and has been a member of the management board member since March 2000. He was responsible for production until September 2006, when he became chairman.