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BMW CEO Starts in Shadow of Predecessor’s Shift to Chairman

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BMW CEO Sees a Sales Surge Coming in Electrified Cars

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The first test facing BMW AG’s new chief executive officer will be to emerge from the shadows of the predecessor who will be watching over his shoulder as chairman.

Norbert Reithofer’s probable shift to chairman from CEO on Wednesday without the recommended two-year break could make it harder for incoming CEO Harald Krueger -- at 49, the youngest chief of any major car manufacturer -- to break with his predecessor’s strategy. While BMW sits atop the luxury-car market, the industry is changing, and the Munich-based manufacturer faces new competitors such as Tesla Motors Inc.