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Mercedes-Benz Group

With revenues slipping 2% and profits taking a walloping amid slumping demand, it was not a great first year for Swedish businessman Ola Källenius at the helm of the iconic German automaker. Not only were sales weak, but the company faced a string of challenges, from faulty airbags to continued fallout from allegations that it had misled customers about toxic emissions from some of its diesel vehicles. (The company denies it did anything wrong.) The rollout of several new models was also delayed. And that was before the coronavirus pandemic hit. To restore growth, Källenius has his work cut out for him. The CEO is focusing on aggressive cost-cutting and ramping up business in China. Daimler is also is planning a major push into electric vehicles, with five models, plus an additional 20 hybrids, due to hit the market by year-end.
Uli Deck—picture alliance/Getty Images
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