June 14, 2024

German passport for Ola Källenius: naturalized Mercedes boss

Ola Källenius obtained a degree in Stuttgart that made him a German citizen. Photo: Mercedes-Benz

The Swede was granted dual citizenship in Stuttgart and spoke of a “very special moment and a great honour”.

30 years ago, Ola Källenius started at the company, which was still called Daimer-Benz. His first working day in the group’s International Junior Research Group was the first day he spent entirely in Stuttgart in 1993 after studying in Stockholm and St Gallen. “My German could be improved a lot,” he recalled, and the Swabian seemed even more exotic to him at that time.

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That has changed drastically. Callenius made his home in the Neckar. He’s always been fluent in German, and now he’s taking the next step. On Monday, the 54-year-old manager was naturalized in Stuttgart in a rather unadorned ceremony, as the certificate handing over photo shows. Then he posted the event himself with a message on the business network “Linked-In”.

Kallenius wrote: “I will not forget this day.” “As of today, I have dual citizenship, so I am also officially a German citizen. My true home is Sweden, and Germany has become my second home. As of today, it’s more than just a feeling.”

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Since starting at Daimler, he has spent most of his life outside Sweden, “mainly in Germany, Great Britain and the USA”. According to Kallenius, he “has the privilege of saying: There are several places in the house for me”.

The 54-year-old is married to a Swabian woman from “Raudaburg am Necker” (Rothenburg), as Mayor Frank Nuber said recently at a business reception in Stuttgart. “Most of my children grew up here, and I have the honor of leading one of the most traditional companies in the future. My new German passport confirms the importance of this country to me and my family,” said Kallenius. He thus discarded an unofficial address: To date, Kallenius was the first and only CEO of a Swabian car manufacturer without a German passport.