Two and a half years after seizing the helm at German industrial icon Siemens, headstrong chief executive Joe Kaeser sees 2016 as the beginning of a new golden age for the 167-year-old company.
By returning the slumping energy and electronics giant to sustainable strong growth and profitability, Mr. Kaeser, 58, plans to win over naysayers still skeptical of his restructuring strategy and almost unrestricted consolidation of power.
In his latest move, Mr. Kaeser on Wednesday signed a €180 million, or $202 million, deal with executives of French national railway SNCF to automate a regional train line in Paris. Also on Wednesday, Siemens announced an order for natural gas turbines, generators and control systems at a major new power plant in Nigeria.
If all goes according to plan, the iron-willed and clever Mr. Kaeser could emerge in coming months as the next “Mister Siemens.”
That title had been held by his predecessor Heinrich von Pierer, before a 2006 corruption scandal stripped him of it. At the Siemens AGM two weeks ago, one shareholder suggested Mr. Kaeser now deserves the title.
At the heart of Mr. Kaeser’s agenda is a new form of absolutism he has instilled at Bavaria-based Siemens: I am the company.