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Siemens labour reps criticise Kaeser's reform plans
March 23, 2017 / 2:14 PM / 6 months ago

Siemens labour reps criticise Kaeser's reform plans

The company logo of Siemens is seen at an office building in Zug, Switzerland August 30, 2016. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/Files

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Labour representatives at German industrial giant Siemens have warned Chief Executive Joe Kaeser not to restructure the conglomerate into a holding company, on fears that further spin-offs could damage the brand.

“Precisely because Siemens has a broad footing as an integrated technology company it has been able to position itself as an industrial flagship company,” IG Metall trade union officer Birgit Steinborn said in a letter to labour representatives.

“Further dismantling the group would endanger Siemens as a brand and as a company,” Steinborn wrote.

Siemens has split off a number of businesses as part of a deep-seated reform drive under Kaeser, most recently separating a $2 billion Mechanical Drives unit, and is exploring a listing of its healthcare business.

Kaeser has several times raised the prospect of possibly allowing investors to invest directly in major divisions, although his predecessors had previously rejected the idea of a holding structure.

Other Siemens divisions that have been separated off include semiconductor unit Infineon and lighting unit Osram.

“We need a long-term perspective and cannot be held hostage to the mood of the financial markets,” Steinborn said.

Germany’s Manager Magazin was first to report the trade union letter.

Reporting by Edward Taylor; Editing by Victoria Bryan

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