Arthur Blank’s stated desire to step back from the day-to-day operations of his businesses, including the Atlanta Falcons, has led him to hire the head of Mercedes-Benz USA to assume many of the owner’s current responsibilities. Blank announced Monday that Stephen Cannon, currently the president and chief executive officer of Mercedes-Benz USA, has been named CEO of AMB Group, the parent company of the Falcons, the Atlanta United soccer team and Blank’s other businesses. Cannon will assume day-to-day leadership of Blank’s for-profit businesses on Feb. 1. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
“This is a truly special opportunity for me to move from an iconic brand that I love to a role working with an iconic leader and the diversified Blank Family of Businesses,” Cannon said in a statement. “I made an immediate connection with Arthur because we have very similar value systems and a shared vision for what the customer experience can and should be,” according to AJC.
Daimler AG will replace Cannon with Dietmar Exler. Exler, who is from Austria, is currently Mercedes-Benz USA’s vice president for sales. He also spent several years in Germany as the chief operating officer of Daimler’s financial-services division in Europe. He will also run Mercedes-Benz in Canada and Mexico. The company has 1,500 employees in the U.S. and 1,240 in Canada and Mexico, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Earlier this year, Mercedes-Benz USA moved its U.S. headquarters from Montvale, N.J., to Atlanta, Ga., a move similar to other auto makers who have concentrated operations in southern states, primarily for cost reasons.