Situation Stable

BMW CEO Collapses on Stage

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Two assistants help BMW CEO Harald Krüger back on his feet after he collapsed Tuesday during a presentation in Frankfurt.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Harald Krüger, 49, took over in May as chief executive of BMW, the world’s largest maker of luxury autos and sedans.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • Mr. Krüger was speaking in Frankfurt at an industry conference when he collapsed on stage and was helped off by assistants.
    • A company spokesman later said he had experienced dizziness and he was “stable” and “recovering well.”
    • BMW shares dipped briefly by more than a euro after the CEO took a fall, but have since recovered in Frankfurt trading.
  • Audio

    Audio

  • Pdf

Harald Krüger, BMW’s chief executive since May, collapsed on stage Tuesday during a presentation at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt.

Mr. Krüger, 49, was quickly picked up by two assistants and led off the stage. He did not return to finish his presentation.

“In the morning, Harald Krüger had not been feeling well,” BMW spokesman Maximilian Schöberl said in an emailed statement. “He had recently returned from travels abroad. It was, however, important to him to be available for this appearance.”

Following his collapse, which Mr. Schöberl described as “a moment of dizziness,” a doctor examined Mr. Krüger and the chief executive’s health was shown to be “stable” and he was “recovering well,” the BMW spokesman said.

BMW shares, which were trading up 1.6 percent in Frankfurt, gave up part of their gains but recovered later in the morning. They were up 0.9 percent at €86.02 by 12:00 p.m. local time at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.

 


Video: Harald Krüger falls at the Frankfurt International Motor Show.

 

Mr. Krüger, an engineer who was head of production from 2013 to 2015, succeeded Norbert Reithofer, who went on to become BMW’s non-executive chairman. Under Mr. Krüger’s leadership, BMW has initiated a strategic review of all operations.

One of Mr Krüger’s challenges is to boost sales of electric cars, a market where U.S. carmaker Tesla has been making inroads with luxury models, and to cope with stagnation in China’s car market, one of BMW’s biggest growth drivers.

At the Frankfurt International Motor Show where Mr. Krüger collapsed, BMW is presenting its new 7-Series model, a luxury sedan, which has optional seats with a massage function and a gesture control system that can interpret hand motions to manage audio volume and other dashboard controls. The car is available starting at $81,300 in the United States.

The carmaker is also showcasing its i3 electric car as well as its Mini and Rolls-Royce brands at the motor show.

 

Gilbert Kreijger is an editor at Handelsblatt Global Edition in Berlin, focusing on companies and markets. Markus Fasse is a Handelsblatt editor specialized in the aviation and automobile industry. To contact the authors: kreijger@handelsblatt.com and fasse@handelsblatt.com

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