Joe Kaeser, chief executive of Siemens, has long had an affinity for the United States and isn’t affraid to admit it publicly.
“Forget Mexico or China,” he said at a recent meeting of the Export-Import Bank of the United States. “When the U.S. gets just 60 percent right, it’s the most powerful country in the world.”
His enthusiastic assessment bowled over U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, who was sitting next to him. “I should resign right now and give you the job,” she joked.
But back in Germany, Mr. Kaeser might have wished she had been serious. Just one year after announcing his “Vision 2020” strategy, he has failed to make any significant improvements to Siemens’ bottome line. The quarterly figures he will present on Thursday are mediocre, according to information Handelsblatt has obtained from company sources.
“The initial enthusiasm Kaeser caused is gone,” said a Siemens executive who asked to remain anonymous. “The shine isn’t quite what it was.”
Analysts see the yearly projections in danger, and Handelsblatt has also learned that Mr. Kaeser plans to announce thousands of further job cuts in company’s energy division.
Mr. Kaeser has already tried to lower expectations for the quarter. In a meeting with analysts earliers this year, he said that he viewed 2015 as a year of transition and that his radical restructuring would begin showing results in 2016 and 2017.
One of his decisions was to remove a layer of hierarchy above the group’s four divisions. Shareholders, however, are still waiting to see if that strategy will pay off.