When BMW picked Harald Krueger to run the company more than four years ago, he was the perfect candidate. Young, with a personable manner and decades of experience across the company, Krueger appeared ready to guide the venerable luxury maker into a future of electric, self-driving and shared automobiles.
But on Friday — two weeks before his contract came up for renewal — Krueger quit. Instead of leading the company through the biggest upheaval in a generation, he was felled by the transition as he failed to provide a roadmap to the future. In his farewell note, he cited the “enormous exertion” demanded of BMW employees as the company grapples with the unprecedented demands of the shift.
In the past few years, the industry “has been shaped by enormous changes, which have brought about more transformation than in the previous 30 years,” Krueger said in the note.
Krueger, 53, inherited a company at the top of its game. Under the previous CEO — now chairman — Norbert Reithofer,…