BMW CEO Harald Krueger is stepping down in the wake of the luxury automaker’s weakest earnings performance in a decade.
The German company said Friday that Krueger, 53, would not seek an extension of his contract, which expires at the end of April 2020. The board of directors will meet to discuss the issue of a successor on July 18 and Krueger will remain in his job until a decision is made.
The news comes after BMW lost money on its automotive business in the first quarter of the year after the company was hit by a 1.4 billion euro ($1.6 billion) charge for an anti-trust case and by higher upfront costs for new technology. Only the financial services and motorcycle divisions kept the group as a whole in profit.
BMW, which is based in Munich, is facing pressures that are affecting the car industry in general, including high costs to develop electric vehicles to meet tighter emissions regulations in Europe and China, and investments in autonomous vehicles to compete with tech companies like Waymo and Uber. BMW has been hit by increased tariffs on vehicles exported to China from its plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina, due to the trade dispute between the U.S. and China.
A company news release quoted Krueger, who became CEO in 2015, as saying he would like to pursue “new professional endeavors.”