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FRANKFURT, May 6 (Reuters) - German engineering giant Siemens is replacing the head of its energy business, Michael Suess, with a senior U.S. manager at Shell Oil, Lisa Davis, as the company pursues a sweeping restructuring, two sources familiar with the plans said on Tuesday.
The move, which could be announced by Chief Executive Joe Kaeser on Wednesday, comes as Siemens has emerged as a possible rival to U.S. conglomerate General Electric in bidding for French group Alstom’s power business.
The Munich-based group has proposed taking over the Alstom business in exchange for part of its own rail business plus cash, and could make a formal offer later this month or in early June.
Two company officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Suess had pursued a strategy of producing big power-generating turbines while other firms focused on small, decentralised means of generating electricity.
Siemens declined to comment while Suess was not immediately available to comment.
Earlier Germany’s manager magazine said in its online edition, citing Siemens sources, that Davis would be appointed by the supervisory board at its meeting on Tuesday and the move underpins Chief Executive Joe Kaeser’s decision to manage Siemens’ energy business from the United States.
The report said the main reason Suess was stepping down as head of Siemens Energy was that he did not want to move to the United States.
A Shell spokeswoman declined to comment.
Kaeser, 56, who took over the reins at Siemens last summer after his predecessor Peter Loescher was ousted in a boardroom coup, is due to unveil his new strategy for the group and second quarter results on Wednesday in Berlin.
German media reports have said he will put an end to the company’s four main sectors - energy, industry, healthcare and infrastructure/cities - and introduce up to 10 smaller divisions in their place, making for a leaner, flatter corporate structure. (Reporting by Jens Hack, Philipp Halstrick and Monica Raymunt; Writing by Thomas Atkins; Editing by Greg Mahlich)