After completing a commercial apprenticeship and attending Mannheim Commercial College, Wilhelm Kissel took on a position as correspondent at Benz & Cie in 1904. In 1907, he joined the purchasing department and rose to the position of department head and authorised officer there. After being appointed departmental director in 1921, he devoted himself with great intensity to the reconstruction of the company following the First World War. He performed important services organising the combine with Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft, and was appointed to the joint Board of Management of Benz & Cie. and Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft in 1926. From 1930, he chaired the meetings of the Board of Management of Daimler-Benz AG until he was officially designated the first "Chairman of the Board of Management" in 1937 an office which he held until his death in 1942. In 1933, he received an honorary doctorate from the Darmstadt Technical University.



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