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You Have To Read This About Our Leader...arthur Blank


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This article is soooo enlightening and open that I am proud to say, we have a true leader, NO, a Godfather that knows how to conduct business and close a deal.

If there ever is a meeting with Arthur Blank, the deal is done. I honestly think that Mercedes, Cannon to be more precise, is going to help us land, not only multiple SBs but also the World Cup and maybe even ANOTHER Olympics bid. Cannon seems to really have taken to Atlanta and his future ties here.

What say you?

http://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/print-edition/2015/08/28/mercedes-benz-putting-its-mark-on-atlanta.html?ana=e_ph_prem&u=LWQcv9L7bMin3/lW/yYdNg0ebdecf9&t=1440767947

Mercedes-Benz putting its mark on Atlanta - Atlanta Business Chronicle.htm

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On second reading, I am REALLY digging the Mercedes Benz CEO, Cannon. He seems really in-tune with the people and down to earth. I think he is going to be a MAJOR player in the Atlanta business community as well as volunteer community. It is also good to know that he was an Army Ranger, a man that has got his hands dirty a few times.

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Mercedes-Benz putting its mark on Atlanta

Aug 28, 2015, 6:00am EDT

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Maria Saporta Contributing WriterAtlanta Business Chronicle

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What a splashy week for Mercedes -Benz USA in Atlanta. If folks in town had not realized that Mercedes-Benz USA has moved its headquarters to Atlanta, they probably know now.

The week started on Monday, Aug. 24, when Mercedes-Benz officially announced it had signed a 27-year agreement for the naming rights to the new Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United stadium.

On Tuesday, Stephen Cannon, president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA, was outside the companys temporary headquarters on Perimeter Center North handing over the keys to specialized, fully-loaded Mercedes van to the Community Assistance Center, which serves people in need in both the Sandy Springs and Dunwoody communities. (MBUSA is currently in Dunwoody, but it is building a new headquarters in Sandy Springs, one thats trading me space into we space).

And then on Thursday, Cannon was scheduled to be at the Metro Atlanta Chamber hosting a breakfast for Hands On Atlanta. Mercedes-Benz is the presenting sponsor for Hands On Atlanta Day 2015 the organization is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Cannon, the newcomer (the company opened its Atlanta headquarters on July 6) is urging his fellow CEOs to support the volunteer-based nonprofit.

For Cannon, its all about leadership and giving back. And he certainly wouldnt complain if Atlantans bought a few more Mercedes than they currently do. Atlanta is not one of our top 20 markets, Cannon said towards the end of a two-and-a-half hour interview. We have been outsold by BMW and Lexus in Atlanta, but we are going to change that.

Change is one way to describe what is happening at Mercedes-Benz USA.

Cannon said that moving to Atlanta has caused the entire company to go outside its comfort zone. He is using the move as an opportunity to flatten the organization, do some spring cleaning, and to redesign the way the automaker is conducting business.

The changes have been so bold that its Germany-based parent company, Daimler, is asking its other entities: Whats your Atlanta?

Cannon acted as interpreter. When they say Whats your Atlanta?, what theyre asking is, Whats your big, bold move? Cannon said. Thats coming from Germany.

The boldest move was announcing the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Although Cannon and Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank did not disclose the terms of the deal, it is estimated to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars over 27 years. This is the single-biggest deal we have done in our history, is all Cannon would say.

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The backstory of the deal ties back to when MBUSA executives were anonymously scouting for a new headquarters city. The Metro Atlanta Chamber was able to set up a meeting with the unknown Fortune 50 prospect and Blank at the new stadiums preview center on Oct. 29, 2014. Without knowing who they were, Blank jokingly said at the end of their meeting, If you are interested, you can put your name on our building.

Cannon let down his guard. We have one of those already, he told Blank, and he immediately could see Blanks mind trying to figure out which company he was talking to. (Mercedes-Benz already had a 10-year naming rights deal for the Superdome in New Orleans, an agreement that will run another five years).

At the time, Cannon dismissed the stadium naming idea, but the meeting with Blank was key to MBUSA picking Atlanta over Raleigh, N.C., and Dallas.

That was one data point - the first meeting with Arthur, Cannon said. The fact that Arthur would drop everything he was doing to meet with an anonymous company told us a lot. He gave us a down-to-Earth view. We also heard the downside such as traffic. I honestly was impressed with the close-knit nature of the Atlanta business community.

Atlanta was the last of three cities that MBUSA visited. On the last night of their two-day visits, the MBUSA scouting team would meet for dinner to weigh the pros and cons of each city.

In Atlanta on Oct. 30, they met for dinner in a private room at the King & Duke restaurant in Buckhead and took out the flip chart. It was unanimous, Cannon said about the headquarters choice. Atlanta won because it had the most compelling story.

Answering his own question, Cannon said: Do you put a global brand a top 10 brand in a city like Raleigh? Atlanta is a prominent city. We wanted to be in a city where the action is.

Dallas was a closer call, but Cannon said Atlanta won out because of its geographical and demographic diversity. In Dallas, you have less a sense of place than Atlanta, Cannon said. By the way, Cannon said he views the MBUSA as a move to Atlanta not Sandy Springs especially because its 800 employees live throughout the region.

Atlanta also was a known commodity for Cannon. He had been part of the team that selected Alabama for the Mercedes plant the first auto plant that the company had built outside of Germany. He ended up living in Tuscaloosa from 1994 to 1998 but visited Atlanta as often as he could because it was a cosmopolitan city. As a wrestler in college, he made sure to catch the wrestling events during the 1996 Summer Olympic Games.

Once the decision was made to move to Atlanta, the company began looking around for how it could make a big splash. Drew Slaven, who handles marketing for MBUSA, met with the Falcons organization in February, and naming rights came up.

Initially a skeptic, Cannon met with Blank in April and thats when the idea gained steam. He then had to convince the leaders in Germany, who also started out as skeptics. We got it all lined up in record time, said Cannon, who was seduced by the buildings iconic design and the Mercedes logo on the top of the retractable roof.

Why I love this deal is because it works on so many levels, Cannon continued. First, theres the local piece, us coming in as the new member of the community and putting a stake in the ground with that brand is amazing. Then were aligning ourselves with two major league sports franchises.

He fully expects the stadium to host national and international events and says that will help the Mercedes brand get national exposure. We are going to get local impact, regional [impact] and national impact, he said. But I dont know if this deal would have happened if it had been an ordinary design. This was stunning. It ended up not being a hard sell.

And he loves having a footprint in the heart of his new hometown. The fact that this is a downtown location is very important to us, Cannon said. We made the decision that we wanted to be part of the fabric in the community. Cannon, however, is sensitive to the fact that Mercedes-Benz targets the wealthy which he referred to as the 1 percent.

Contrast that with where the stadium is being built across Northside Drive from Vine City and English Avenue ­ two of the poorest neighborhoods in the city.

All the goodwill in the world is not going to turn Mercedes-Benz into a brand that everybody in the world is going to be able to consume, Cannon said. But I can make it a brand that people will like.

Thats why he is committed to getting involved with the Westside and becoming an active member of Atlantas business community. It also fits in with his world view. The best part about being the boss is that you get to drive culture. Thats my No. 1 job, Cannon said. Great companies give back. And he encourages the automakers 375 dealers in the United States to do the same.

Its especially for a luxury brand like Mercedes that caters to the 1 percent. People are attracted to brands that they like, Cannon said. Giving back connects people to a higher purpose. One of the biggest jobs for a leader is giving its people a sense of purpose.

Cannon said he learned about leadership when he went to West Point and served as a U.S. Army Ranger patrolling the West German border before the Berlin Wall came down.

The craft of leadership is so important, Cannon said. Im not a car guy. Im a leadership guy. Everybody models the leader. You are being observed every second of everyday. You can have an off moment, but you are never allowed to have an off day. The purpose is to foster the culture that we want.

Cannon cant wait to become more involved locally as evidenced by the past weeks events. Im so excited to be part of the Atlanta business community. I had no community like that in Montvale, N.J., said Cannon, who added a tease. We have only been here for a few months. Theres more to come.

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Mercedes-Benz putting its mark on Atlanta Aug 28, 2015, 6:00am EDT Industries & Tags Events Share Order Reprints

Save Article Print Maria Saporta Contributing WriterAtlanta Business Chronicle Related Content Mercedes-Benz acquires naming rights to Falcons new stadium City to build big pedestrian bridge to Mercedes-Benz Stadium Blank confirms Mercedes-Benz Stadium deal, reveals new stadium pics Dunwoody buildings home to Mercedes-Benz USA


What a splashy week for Mercedes -Benz USA in Atlanta. If folks in town had not realized that Mercedes-Benz USA has moved its headquarters to Atlanta, they probably know now. The week started on Monday, Aug. 24, when Mercedes-Benz officially announced it had signed a 27-year agreement for the naming rights to the new Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United stadium.


On Tuesday, Stephen Cannon, president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA, was outside the companys temporary headquarters on Perimeter Center North handing over the keys to specialized, fully-loaded Mercedes van to the Community Assistance Center, which serves people in need in both the Sandy Springs and Dunwoody communities. (MBUSA is currently in Dunwoody, but it is building a new headquarters in Sandy Springs, one thats trading me space into we space). And then on Thursday, Cannon was scheduled to be at the Metro Atlanta Chamber hosting a breakfast for Hands On Atlanta. Mercedes-Benz is the presenting sponsor for Hands On Atlanta Day 2015 the organization is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.


Cannon, the newcomer (the company opened its Atlanta headquarters on July 6) is urging his fellow CEOs to support the volunteer-based nonprofit. For Cannon, its all about leadership and giving back. And he certainly wouldnt complain if Atlantans bought a few more Mercedes than they currently do. Atlanta is not one of our top 20 markets, Cannon said towards the end of a two-and-a-half hour interview. We have been outsold by BMW and Lexus in Atlanta, but we are going to change that.


Change is one way to describe what is happening at Mercedes-Benz USA. Cannon said that moving to Atlanta has caused the entire company to go outside its comfort zone. He is using the move as an opportunity to flatten the organization, do some spring cleaning, and to redesign the way the automaker is conducting business. The changes have been so bold that its Germany-based parent company, Daimler, is asking its other entities: Whats your Atlanta?

Cannon acted as interpreter. When they say Whats your Atlanta?, what theyre asking is, Whats your big, bold move? Cannon said. Thats coming from Germany. The boldest move was announcing the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Although Cannon and Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank did not disclose the terms of the deal, it is estimated to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars over 27 years.


This is the single-biggest deal we have done in our history, is all Cannon would say. Upcoming Events Best Places to Work Awards September 10, 2015 Governor's International Awards October 01, 2015 Women Who Mean Business October 22, 2015 See


The backstory of the deal ties back to when MBUSA executives were anonymously scouting for a new headquarters city. The Metro Atlanta Chamber was able to set up a meeting with the unknown Fortune 50 prospect and Blank at the new stadiums preview center on Oct. 29, 2014. Without knowing who they were, Blank jokingly said at the end of their meeting, If you are interested, you can put your name on our building. Cannon let down his guard. We have one of those already, he told Blank, and he immediately could see Blanks mind trying to figure out which company he was talking to. (Mercedes-Benz already had a 10-year naming rights deal for the Superdome in New Orleans, an agreement that will run another five years). At the time, Cannon dismissed the stadium naming idea, but the meeting with Blank was key to MBUSA picking Atlanta over Raleigh, N.C., and Dallas.


That was one data point - the first meeting with Arthur, Cannon said. The fact that Arthur would drop everything he was doing to meet with an anonymous company told us a lot. He gave us a down-to-Earth view. We also heard the downside such as traffic. I honestly was impressed with the close-knit nature of the Atlanta business community. Atlanta was the last of three cities that MBUSA visited.


On the last night of their two-day visits, the MBUSA scouting team would meet for dinner to weigh the pros and cons of each city. In Atlanta on Oct. 30, they met for dinner in a private room at the King & Duke restaurant in Buckhead and took out the flip chart. It was unanimous, Cannon said about the headquarters choice. Atlanta won because it had the most compelling story. Answering his own question, Cannon said: Do you put a global brand a top 10 brand in a city like Raleigh? Atlanta is a prominent city. We wanted to be in a city where the action is. Dallas was a closer call, but Cannon said Atlanta won out because of its geographical and demographic diversity. In Dallas, you have less a sense of place than Atlanta, Cannon said. By the way, Cannon said he views the MBUSA as a move to Atlanta not Sandy Springs especially because its 800 employees live throughout the region. A


tlanta also was a known commodity for Cannon. He had been part of the team that selected Alabama for the Mercedes plant the first auto plant that the company had built outside of Germany. He ended up living in Tuscaloosa from 1994 to 1998 but visited Atlanta as often as he could because it was a cosmopolitan city. As a wrestler in college, he made sure to catch the wrestling events during the 1996 Summer Olympic Games. Once the decision was made to move to Atlanta, the company began looking around for how it could make a big splash.


Drew Slaven, who handles marketing for MBUSA, met with the Falcons organization in February, and naming rights came up. Initially a skeptic, Cannon met with Blank in April and thats when the idea gained steam. He then had to convince the leaders in Germany, who also started out as skeptics.


We got it all lined up in record time, said Cannon, who was seduced by the buildings iconic design and the Mercedes logo on the top of the retractable roof.


Why I love this deal is because it works on so many levels, Cannon continued. First, theres the local piece, us coming in as the new member of the community and putting a stake in the ground with that brand is amazing. Then were aligning ourselves with two major league sports franchises. He fully expects the stadium to host national and international events and says that will help the Mercedes brand get national exposure. We are going to get local impact, regional [impact] and national impact, he said. But I dont know if this deal would have happened if it had been an ordinary design. This was stunning. It ended up not being a hard sell. And he loves having a footprint in the heart of his new hometown.


The fact that this is a downtown location is very important to us, Cannon said. We made the decision that we wanted to be part of the fabric in the community. Cannon, however, is sensitive to the fact that Mercedes-Benz targets the wealthy which he referred to as the 1 percent. Contrast that with where the stadium is being built across Northside Drive from Vine City and English Avenue ­ two of the poorest neighborhoods in the city. All the goodwill in the world is not going to turn Mercedes-Benz into a brand that everybody in the world is going to be able to consume, Cannon said. But I can make it a brand that people will like.


Thats why he is committed to getting involved with the Westside and becoming an active member of Atlantas business community. It also fits in with his world view. The best part about being the boss is that you get to drive culture. Thats my No. 1 job, Cannon said. Great companies give back. And he encourages the automakers 375 dealers in the United States to do the same. Its especially for a luxury brand like Mercedes that caters to the 1 percent.


People are attracted to brands that they like, Cannon said. Giving back connects people to a higher purpose. One of the biggest jobs for a leader is giving its people a sense of purpose. Cannon said he learned about leadership when he went to West Point and served as a U.S. Army Ranger patrolling the West German border before the Berlin Wall came down.


The craft of leadership is so important, Cannon said. Im not a car guy. Im a leadership guy. Everybody models the leader. You are being observed every second of everyday. You can have an off moment, but you are never allowed to have an off day. The purpose is to foster the culture that we want.


Cannon cant wait to become more involved locally as evidenced by the past weeks events. Im so excited to be part of the Atlanta business community. I had no community like that in Montvale, N.J., said Cannon, who added a tease. We have only been here for a few months. Theres more to come.
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