Reorganization 2.0

After Year on Job, Kaeser Uses Bavarian Wit, Folksy Charm, to Press Case for a Turnaround at Siemens

Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser leaves the Elysee Palace in Paris on June 26, 2014, after a meeting with the French president, Francois Hollande. Source DPA
The Siemens chief executive, Joe Kaeser, has restored confidence and a sense of direction in the struggling German electronics company after one year on the job. Here, Mr. Kaeser leaves a June 26, 2014, meeting at France's Elysee Palace.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Siemens is one of Germany’s largest private employers and a bellwether for German blue chip companies.

  • Facts


    • Siemens-engineered products range from energy technology to transportation.
    • Its health-care division generates 12 percent of company sales.
    • The company employs 362,000 people in 190 countries.
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Even Joe Kaeser hasn’t performed miracles as chief executive officer at Siemens.

A year has passed since Peter Loescher was ousted from leadership of the German industrial giant after a series of setbacks and sagging market value. Mr. Kaeser, then chief financial officer, moved to the top after letting it be known that he could do the job better.

In Siemens’ 167-year history, 12 months is a brief moment. But in the short-lived, quarterly-driven stock-market world, it’s a long time. And the financial results that the new chief executive presented on Thursday looked decidedly better than those of his predecessor.

No growth and lagging profits are again the problems. Under Mr. Kaeser, Siemens still trails the profitability of its biggest competitors – above all, arch-rival General Electric.


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