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Business

Daimler eyes judge for new board position

German carmaker Daimler is poised to hire a judge from the country's highest court to fill a newly created management board position, according to a German business magazine.

German constitutional court judges

Rather than fight judges, Daimler hopes to hire one

Christine Hohmann-Dennhardt, a judge on Germany's Constitutional Court, could soon join Daimler's management board, according to the respected business journal Manager Magazin.

Daimler has been searching for a high-profile person to fill a newly created board position, and Hohmann-Dennhardt, a judge in Germany's highest court since 1999, has the name recognition and expertise to for the job.

In September, Daimler announced plans to expand its compliance activities by creating a dedicated position in its management board. According to a statement released at the time, the new position for "Integrity and Legal" would be filled externally in the first quarter of 2011 and include managing the company's global legal and compliance organization as well as business ethics in the group.

Daimler on Friday declined to comment on whether Hohmann-Dennhardt was a candidate for the new board position.

Determined to change

Daimler chairman and CEO Dieter Zetsche

Daimler chairman and CEO Dieter Zetsche is getting tough on compliance

The decision to create the position came just months after Daimler agreed to pay $185 million (137 millon euros) to settle charges by the US Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The company was accused of making some $56 million in bribes related to more than 200 transactions in 22 countries. The brides earned the company $1.9 billion in revenue and at least $91.4 million in allegedly illegal profits.

There were other payments as well, such as luxury European vacations and armored Mercedes vehicles for high-ranking government officials.

In addition to the settlement, Daimler remains subject to a two-year deferred prosecution agreement and oversight by an independent monitor.

By creating the new board position, the company appears determined to change its ways.

"No business in the world is worth violating applicable laws, regulations or ethical standards," Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the board of management and CEO of Daimler, said in the September statement.

Hohmann-Dennhardt's 12-year term on the Constitutional Court ends this month.

Author: John Blau

Editor: Sean Sinico

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