It was recently announced that Dr. Michael Ganal was replaced as the head of the Finance Division by Dr. Friedrich Eichiner due to a serious illness. He however would remain a member of the board though not with a title. Today, we sadly learn of his passing due to the same illness.

Ganal was 54 years old and had served as a board member at BMW AG since 2000. He had been a major contributor to the recent success and growth of the brand. His fellow colleagues described him as a tireless worker and a go getter until he began his battle with this illness. He will be surely missed. Our condolences go out to the family, friends and colleagues of Dr. Ganal.

Full BMW AG Press Release:

Dr. Michael Ganal dies after severe illness

Munich. Dr. Michael Ganal, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, died last week in the night from Thursday to Friday at the age of 54 after a severe illness. He had been a Member of the Company’s Board of Management since October 2000 and was last responsible for the Finance Division in his position as Chief Financial Officer.

Professor Joachim Milberg, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of BMW AG: “The news of Dr. Ganal’s death has painfully torn apart our great hopes that he would be able to recover from his severe illness and resume his position on the Board of Management of BMW AG. We are losing not only an outstanding leader and a strong personality, but also and in particular a man who in recent years has contributed decisively to the success and the culture of our Company. Until the end he fought against his illness with all the power of his strong will and with sheer unflinching energy. On behalf of the Supervisory Board and the share-holders of the company I wish to express our deepest, heartfelt sympathy to
Dr. Ganal’s family.“

Dr. Ganal joined BMW AG in 1986 and was appointed a Member of the Board of Management in October 2000, where initially he was responsible for the Sales and Marketing Division. At the time he played a leading role in successfully implementing a product and market initiative quite unparalleled in the history of the company. Since October 2007 Dr. Ganal had been in charge of the Finance Division.

The Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Dr. Norbert Reithofer, has taken notice of Dr. Ganal’s death with great regret: “Dr. Ganal was an absolutely outstanding man through his profound expertise and his strong power of getting things done. He was a fascinating leader of people and a top executive in the most positive sense of the word. This enabled him not only to convince colleagues, employees and customers of his cause, but rather to genuinely thrill them and win them over. “

Speaking on behalf of the Employees’ Representatives, Manfred Schoch, the Chairman of the Overall Works Council of BMW AG, expressed an equally clear opinion: ”Through the death of Dr. Ganal we are losing a self-confident and open partner. In all our professional debates and points of contention he always remained absolutely straightforward and firmly on the ground – and even in challenging times he always kept his focus on the concerns and worries of all the employees of the company.”