DaimlerChrysler AG announced Thursday that Dieter Zetsche would take over for chief executive Juergen Schrempp at the end of this year.
Chrysler No. 2 Thomas LaSorda will replace Zetsche as president and CEO of the Auburn Hills-based Chrysler Group.
Analysts say that Zetsche, who already engineered a turnaround at Chrysler, would retain the same laser-like focus on creating new products and reducing costs - an approach needed to deal with challenges such as weak earnings at Mercedes-Benz and limited growth in Asia.
DaimlerChrysler shares soared $4.29, or 9.8 percent, to close Thursday at $48.26 on the New York Stock Exchange.