By Sara Germano
BERLIN -- BMW AG said it would appoint its current head of production Oliver Zipse as its next chief executive as the struggling auto maker contends with shrinking profits, global trade fights and the intensifying race to build electric cars.
Mr. Zipse, who is 55 and a 28-year veteran of BMW, will take the helm on August 16, BMW said Thursday. The announcement follows a decision by current chief executive Harald Krüger, who said two weeks ago he intended to step down.
Nobert Reithofer, chairman of BMW's supervisory board, described Mr. Zipse in a statement Thursday as "a decisive strategic and analytical leader." Mr. Zipse has experience in product engineering and has served as the auto maker's head of production since 2015.
The luxury auto maker is facing a host of problems, including a global economic slowdown, uncertainty around Brexit and the challenge of building costly electric vehicles amid stricter emissions regulations.
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