Siemens CEO to fight for his job: paper

Reuters News
Posted: Jul 29, 2013 3:35 AM
Siemens CEO to fight for his job: paper

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Siemens Chief Executive Peter Loescher plans a probably doomed fight for his job at Wednesday's supervisory board meeting, a German newspaper said, after the German industrial group said at the weekend it would sack him.

Pressure had been mounting on Loescher after he repeatedly misjudged demand development in the group's main markets, and last week appeared to provide the final straw when Siemens scrapped its 2014 profit margin targets.

Citing company sources, Sueddeutsche Zeitung said on Monday that Loescher was only willing to resign if Chairman Gerhard Cromme, who hired him six years ago, also quit.

Otherwise, Loescher hoped to pull together the necessary two-thirds majority to prevent being fired, though boardroom sources told the paper he had no hope of succeeding.

Shares in Siemens, Germany's No. 2 company by market value and a bellwether of Europe's biggest economy, rose as much as 2.3 percent in early trade on Monday and were 0.9 percent higher at 80.37 euros by 0804 GMT.

Sources have said finance chief Joe Kaeser, who has spent his entire career at Siemens, was the most likely candidate to replace Loescher, which analysts welcomed.

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"Kaeser's experience and detailed knowledge of the company make him suitable to succeed Loescher, and we appreciate the breadth of his qualification and experiences," Commerzbank analyst Ingo-Martin Schachel said.

Others said they expected that Kaeser would quickly tighten the reins on costs and sell more non-core businesses, such as the units making rail technology or healthcare software.

(Reporting by Christiaan Hetzner and Maria Sheahan; Additional reporting by Jens Hack; Editing by Will Waterman)