- Jochen Goetz, the CFO of German automaker Daimler Truck AG whose sudden death shocked colleagues and industry watchers last week, died from complications stemming from a wasp sting, a personal post published on LinkedIn Sunday by Daimler supervisory board chairman Joe Kaeser revealed.
- In the deeply personal social media post, Kaeser told a story of a wasp landing on his plate during a birthday meal with his daughter. Rather than brush the insect away, “I started thinking about how such a small insect could kill a strong man, a loving father, and a great manager. Jochen Goetz got killed by such an insect,” the former leader of Siemens Energy AG wrote on the social media site.
- Goetz, who took the top finance seat for the company following its 2021 spin-off from the Mercedes-Benz Group AG, passed away last week in what Daimler termed as a “tragic incident” without sharing further details regarding his cause of death at the time.
Daimler Truck has engaged a human resources consulting agency for the purposes of finding a successor for Goetz. Meanwhile, Martin Daum, chairman of the board of management and CEO, will temporarily assume the duties of CFO for the company while the search for a permanent financial leader is underway, according to a company press release Monday.
“The large number of expressions of grief and condolence underlines how closely the former CFO of Daimler Truck was associated with the company, its employees, and partners,” the release stated. “Nevertheless, Daimler Truck must look forward.”
Daum will ensure that he can perform his duties as chairman “convincingly and fully as before by making internal representative arrangements within the finance department,” the company said, noting his term as interim CFO will also be supported by “a strong financial organization” at the automaker.
Goetz, who spent his 36-year professional career at the automaker, played a key role in the company’s recent strong financial performance as its CFO, CFO Dive previously reported. On August 1, Goetz “presented the successful financial development” of the company to its supervisory board, Kaeser said in a statement last week included in the announcement of his death.
Furthermore, the company’s recent performance boosts “clearly carry his handwritings,” Kaeser wrote on his Sunday LinkedIn post. “While he always knew his numbers, he also cared about the well-being of all Daimler Truck stakeholders. As a long term ‘Trucker’, he knew his people and they knew him. They knew, they could rely on each other. People like him are hard to find.”
Kaeser has served as the supervisory board chairman for Daimler Truck since November 2021, with his current term set to last until 2026. During his 41-year tenure at Siemens, Kaeser served as CEO for seven years until August 2021, and also logged a seven year tenure as its CFO, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Daimler reported a 15% increase in revenue year-over-year for its second quarter to €13.9 billion, according to its financial results.
During the company’s capital markets day in July, Goetz also spoke to how Daimler would “leverage its financial strength” moving forward — identifying factors such as as the company’s active portfolio management and its strong balance sheet as things that “should enable us to grow our business significantly with a revenue increase of 40% to 60% from 2025 to 2030,” he said.
Daimler Truck did not immediately respond to requests for comment surrounding Goetz’s cause of death.