Siemens AG named Britta Fuenfstueck as head of its clinical-products division, making her the first woman to run an operating business on that level at Europe’s largest engineering company.
Fuenfstueck, currently head of molecular imaging, will start on April 1, the Munich-based company said today in an internal memo obtained by Bloomberg. Spokesman Matthias Kraemer confirmed the appointment via phone, declining to provide further details. She will report to Hermann Requardt, who runs the company’s healthcare operations.
Siemens has two women on its 10-member management board, with Brigitte Ederer running Human Resources and Barbara Kux being responsible for procurement and sustainability. So far, all of the about 20 operating divisions are run by men, making Fuenfstueck, who holds a master’s degree in physics from Austria’s University of Linz, one of the highest-ranking executives outside the management board.
The company is severing ties with Kux, who became the the first female board member in Siemens’ 160-year history when appointed in 2008, when her contract expires in November.
“Kux has lost her job due to a lack of success so there will be just one woman on the board,” Kronberg, Germany-based Fairesearch analyst Heinz Steffen, who has a reduce rating on Siemens shares, said by phone. “But they have a clear goal of getting more women onto both the executive and supervisory boards.”
The procurement role came to prominence after an ill-timed bet on economic expansion and setbacks in projects including offshore wind parks caused net income to fall by 26 percent in the fiscal year ended Sept. 30.
Norbert Gaus, the current head of the clinical products division, will run the customer solutions business, while the current head of that unit, Thomas Miller, leaves the company “for personal reasons,” according to the memo.
Currently based in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, Fuenfstueck spent two years at Boston Consulting Group Inc. before joining Siemens as head of the healthcare unit’s electronic business initiatives in 2000.
Siemens’ health-care operations had sales of 13.6 billion euros ($17.8 billion) in the 12 months ended Sept. 30, generating 1.81 billion euros in profit. The clinical products unit is responsible for x-ray, ultrasound and other devices, and has more than 8,000 employees in 17 locations globally, according to a February 2012 presentation.
Fuenfstueck’s successor for the molecular imaging business will be named at a later stage, according to the memo.