Zetsche's father, Herbert Zetsche, built in Turkey at a dam project. The family returned to Germany in 1955.
Dieter Zetsche grew up in Frankfurt- Niederursel up, went to high school in Oberursel Oberursel and studied from 1971 to 1976 electrical engineering at the University of Karlsruhe, which is now part of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, graduating with a diploma engineer. Since 1976 he worked in the research department of the then Daimler -Benz AG. In 1981 he became assistant to the Development Manager in the Commercial Vehicle Division. In 1982, Zetsche was at the Comprehensive University of Paderborn, now the University of Paderborn, received his doctorate in engineering sciences.
From 1984 he was responsible at Daimler -Benz in the commercial vehicle development lead for the coordination of international development activities. Since 1998, Dieter Zetsche Board of Management of DaimlerChrysler AG and since 2000, President and CEO of DaimlerChrysler Corporation (" Chrysler Group " ) in the United States. After years of losses, mainly by Asian competition and price wars on the American market, the company was a success there, under his leadership, to get back into the black.
Zetsche was on 1 January 2006 succeeding Juergen Schrempp as CEO of the company. His successor as CEO at Chrysler was Thomas LaSorda, who previously held the position of Managing Director.
As CEO of DaimlerChrysler AG management at the corporate headquarters was on his initiative that greatly streamlined and with it " went to where the action is ", ie from Stuttgart -Möhringen the plant in Stuttgart- Untertürkheim. In addition to his position as Chairman of Daimler AG Zetsche is also a member of the Supervisory Board of RWE Power AG.
As part of an advertising campaign for Chrysler 2006 different commercials were aired, acting as Dr. Z. Zetsche and refers to the qualities of the vehicles in self-deprecating manner. On the dedicated website " www.AskDrZ.com " questions and answers about Chrysler were published. Conceived by BBDO campaign was stopped prematurely because the Americans Dr. Z. majority thought was a fictional character and the sales success failed to materialize.
On 15 February 2010 his wife Gisela died of cancer. Zetsche was romantically involved from January 2013 to May 2013 with Désirée Nosbusch.
Since 2011, Zetsche donates his former university (KIT / University of Karlsruhe), a stipend Germany.
In April 2012 it was announced that the value of Zetsche's pledged so far accrued pension rights at 29.6 million euros lie. According to a calculation of the " mirror " thus Zetsche take a top position in all the board members in the pension payments of the 30 DAX companies.
Due to the circumstances of the change Eckart von Klaedens from the Chancellor's Office to Daimler AG, the Berlin prosecutor's office initiated in November 2013 against Zetsche an investigation due to the initial suspicion of granting a benefit.
On the re: publica 2013 there was a call from Martin Randelhoff with Dieter Zetsche on mobility solutions of Daimler AG, in particular on the subject of car sharing. In this context, he also spoke about Driverless Car Project by Google and said his company was technically on the same level. Self-propelled cars Zetsche issued a rejection, since they would not demand from customers. Instead, Daimler put on supportive (safety) systems.
Positions at Daimler
- Chairman of the Board, DaimlerChrysler AG 2006, which operates under the name Daimler AG since 2007
- Managing Director, Mercedes Car Group in 2005
- President and CEO, DaimlerChrysler Corporation (" Chrysler Group " ), 2000
- Board Member, Commercial Vehicles, Daimler Chrysler AG, 1999
- Board member, sales, DaimlerChrysler AG, 1998
- Board Member, Sales, Daimler -Benz AG, 1997
- Board Member, Sales, Mercedes -Benz AG, 1995
- Deputy Board Member, Mercedes -Benz AG, responsible for development in the Passenger Car Division, 1992
- President Freightliner Corporation, Portland, Oregon, 1991
- President Mercedes- Benz Argentina, 1989
- Member of Mercedes -Benz do Brasil, 1988
- Line development area, Mercedes -Benz do Brasil, 1987
- Keynote speaker design SUVs and development responsibility division SUVs, Daimler -Benz AG in 1986
- Coordinator Development, Commercial Vehicles, Daimler -Benz AG, 1984
- Development Assistant, Commercial Vehicles, Daimler -Benz AG, 1981
- Research area, Daimler -Benz AG in 1976
- 2005: Industry Leader of the Year of the Automotive Hall of Fame
- 2008: Golden Victoria ( The " Entrepreneur Award " of the German Magazine Publishers )
- 2011: Honorary doctorate from the Hacettepe University (December 8 )