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Siemens Hires Former U.S. Afghanistan Commander McChrystal

Dec. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Siemens AG, Europe’s largest engineering company, hired Stanley McChrystal, a former commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, for a new unit seeking U.S. government contracts.

McChrystal, 57, will serve as chairman of Siemens Government Technologies, which spans security systems to engineering software for defense equipment, the Munich-based company said in a statement today. Siemens appointed former U.S. Army Lieutenant General John Sylvester and Robert Coutts, a former Lockheed Martin Corp. executive, as board members.

“General McChrystal brings us tremendous knowledge from a soldier’s perspective and from a policy perspective,” Judy Marks, president and chief executive officer of the government technology unit, said in a telephone interview. “He is the perfect fit.”

Siemens set up the unit headed by Marks, a former Lockheed Martin executive, on Oct. 1 to get more contracts for transportation systems, as well as energy and health care equipment. The company partnered with Boeing Co. to jointly develop smart-grid technologies to improve energy access and security for the U.S. Department of Defense. The government technologies unit is based in Arlington, Virginia.

Siemens also created a division on Oct. 1 for infrastructure solutions catering to municipal clients.

U.S. Government Work

Siemens generated 14.4 billion euros ($18.8 billion) of sales in the U.S. in the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, or about 20 percent of total revenue. Siemens generates just more than 5 percent of its U.S. revenue from the government, and plans to double that number in four years, Marks said.

As of Sept. 30, the company had 56,000 employees in the country.

President Barack Obama ousted McChrystal in June last year for making belittling remarks about administration officials just over a year after he was entrusted with salvaging a losing war in Afghanistan, replaced him with General David Petraeus.

McChrystal sits on the boards of Navistar International Corp., the maker of International brand trucks, and JetBlue Airways Corp. He also serves as senior fellow at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, where he teaches courses in global affairs and leadership.

To contact the reporter on this story: Richard Weiss in Frankfurt at rweiss5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Benedikt Kammel at bkammel@bloomberg.net

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