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Daimler CEO to get new contract on February 21: source

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Daimler's supervisory board will extend the contract of Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche later this month by five years until the end of 2018, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.

"The board meeting on February 6 is just to approve the preliminary annual earnings results. The first full board meeting where personnel issues will be discussed is on February 21," the source said.

Zetsche, who also serves as head of luxury brand Mercedes-Benz, will be 65 years old by the time the new contract expires.

Research & development chief Thomas Weber, 58, is also expected to have his contract extended by five years that day.

Christine Hohmann-Dennhardt, who heads compliance, should also receive an extension as well. It is unclear for how long, however, given the former judge of Germany's highest court will already be turning 63 years old in April.

The source confirmed the date first reported in a pre-publication of Germany's WirtschaftsWoche, which will be published on Monday.

A Daimler spokesman declined to comment.

Separately the business weekly magazine also cited company sources as saying the dividend would be kept flat at 2.20 euros despite an earnings forecast that expects operating profit from its continuing business to decline 1 billion euros ($1.37 billion) to 8 billion in 2012.

Recently there was media speculation that finance chief Bodo Uebber's pledge to keep the payout "stable" did not necessarily mean that it would not decline slightly.

Daimler does not comment on its dividend policy but it uses a rough calculation whereby the overall payout corresponds to around 40 percent of its consolidated group net profit.

The company is due to publish preliminary figures and its dividend proposal on Thursday, February 7.

(Reporting By Christiaan Hetzner, Editing by Ralf Banser)

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