* CEO undoes regional structure introduced by predecessor
* Says move to bring company closer to its markets
* Magazine says Infrastructure business to be dismantled
* CEO starts putting together his new team
By Maria Sheahan
FRANKFURT, Oct 17 Siemens' new Chief
Executive Joe Kaeseris is returning more power to lower-level
managers around the world with the aim of making the engineering
group more nimble.
The company, Germany's second-biggest by market value, said
in a statement on Thursday it was doing away with a level of
regional management it calls "clusters", introduced by former
chief executive Peter Loescher in 2008, to return to a flatter
hierarchy and make it easier to take quick decisions.
"Eliminating the clusters will make Siemens more streamlined
and closer to the markets," Siemens said as around 600 of its
managers held an annual meeting in Berlin.
Kaeser, a 33-year company veteran, was named as CEO at the
end of July after Siemens dumped Loescher four years before the
end of his contract, following a series of profit warnings.
Now he has to find a way to whip into shape a lumbering
conglomerate with 78 billion euros ($105 billion) of annual
sales and products ranging from gas turbines to high-speed
trains and ultrasound machines.
Under the new structure, managers in countries that are most
important to Siemens in terms of business volume and growth
prospects will report directly to the executive board members
responsible for Siemens' four main businesses - Industry,
Energy, Healthcare and Infrastructure & Cities.
These countries, which Siemens does not specify, account for
more than 85 percent of revenue.
A German magazine earlier reported CEO Kaeser was also
planning a major corporate revamp that would see him dismantle
the Infrastructure & Cities (I&C) division and review the other
three main businesses.
I&C was only just set up by Loescher in 2011. It bundles
businesses making products ranging from security to power
distribution systems and high-speed trains and generates an
annual revenue of about 17.6 billion euros.
Manager Magazin cited sources as saying Siemens would shift
I&C's businesses to other parts of the company.
It said Kaeser would announce concrete plans for the
reorganisation in the European spring of 2014, with any new
structure to be implemented a year from now. Siemens declined to
comment on the report.
The report seemed to contradict recent statements by Kaeser,
who said earlier this month that there were no plans for
further restructuring measures after the company's current 6
billion euro savings programme ends next year.
Kaeser has vowed to put Siemens back on an "even keel" and
end years of continual restructuring.
Since he took office on Aug. 1, he has remained largely
below the radar, but he has already started to assemble a team
of managers to help him close the gap with more profitable
rivals like Switzerland's ABB and U.S.-based General
Earlier this week, Siemens announced Kaeser was bringing
back former Siemens manager Horst Kayser as his new head of
strategy on Nov. 1, around five years after he left Siemens to
become CEO of German industrial robotics company Kuka.