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UK joins North West Europe in Siemens shake-up

27 March, 2008

Siemens is planning a shake-up that will re-organise its global operations into 20 regional centres, covering the 190 countries in which it operates. The first sign of the changes has come with the appointment of Horst Kayser (below) as chief executive of the new North West Europe cluster that includes the UK, Ireland, Scandinavia, Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Together, this cluster represents about €9bn of revenue – more than 10% of Siemens’ total income.

Horst Kayser

Kayser, aged 47, was previously head of Siemens corporate strategy. He will also take over as chief executive of Siemens in the UK, once his strategy role has been filled. The UK vacancy has arisen following the resignation of former CEO, Tom White, whose position is being filled temporarily by chief financial officer, Andreas Goss.

According to a report in the German newspaper Die Welt, France, Italy and Spain will be grouped under another regional centre, while Austria, Hungary, Romania and the Czech Republic will form a third cluster. Some larger countries, such as Germany and the US, will not be affected by the changes.

The reorganisation is part of chief executive Peter Löscher’s strategy to cut the engineering giant’s administrative costs by 10-20%. Administrative tasks will in future be handled at the regional level, rather than in each country, with an inevitable loss of jobs.

More details of Löscher’s plans are expected to be revealed at the end of April, when Siemens is due to report its second-quarter results. Since he took office last year, Loscher has already slimmed down Siemens’ board and combined ten former business operations into three large divisions: industry, energy and healthcare.

Horst Kayser, who has degrees in electrical engineering and public administration, previously headed Siemens’ Automation Systems division, before running the company’s South Korean operation. He has been head of corporate strategy for almost two years.

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