Krueger's appointment is part of a generational change at BMW (Photo: BMW)

BMW's head of production, Harald Krueger, will become the next CEO of the German premium car maker in May. He will succeed Norbert Reithofer, who will become chairman of the BMW supervisory board.

BMW also announced that Klaus Froelich, 54, will become board member for development, succeeding Herbert Diess. Diess has been hired by the Volkswagen Group to take responsibility for the core VW brand, starting October 1 , 2015.

BMW said the appointment of Krueger, 49, is part of its strategy to implement a generational change at a time when personal mobility is evolving faster than at any time in the history of the automobile. "The automotive industry is undergoing a fundamental shift," BMW Supervisory Board Chairman Joachim Milberg said in a press release. To maintain a leading role in the premium segment, he added "we have to hand over responsibility to the next generation at an appropriate time."

Krueger joined BMW in 1992 . He has been a management board member since 2008, when he became head of group human resources. In June 2012, Krueger  took over responsibility for the Mini brand, BMW's motorcycle business, Rolls-Royce and BMW after-sales. He became group production boss in April 2013.

Reithofer, 58, also was head of production before he was appointed BMW CEO in 2006.