Siemens AG’s head of human resources Brigitte Ederer will probably leave the management board of Europe’s largest engineering company before the end of her term, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.
The supervisory board may decide at a meeting tomorrow that Ederer, a 57-year-old Austrian whose contract runs until mid-2015, will leave this year, said the person, who was briefed on the discussions and asked not to be identified as the matter is private. Siemens declined to comment. Austria’s Kronen Zeitung reported her potential departure earlier today.
Siemens is reshuffling its management after finance chief Joe Kaeser became chief executive officer last month, replacing Peter Loescher after five profit forecast cuts in six years. The supervisory board tomorrow may also appoint a successor for its deputy chairman Josef Ackermann and is poised to promote Ralf Thomas, finance chief of the industry division, or Michael Sen, who holds the same role at the health-care business, to the position of chief financial officer, four people with knowledge of the matter said earlier this week.
Ederer, a former Austrian politician and CEO of Siemens’s unit in that country, joined the company’s managing board in 2010. The only other woman on Siemens’s management board is Barbara Kux, responsible for procurement and sustainability, and she’s scheduled to leave when her contract expires in November.
While other German industrial champions have prospered during the European credit crisis thanks to their strength in export markets, Siemens has floundered.
Loescher, also an Austrian national, who joined Siemens from drugmaker Merck & Co. as the company’s first external appointment as CEO, had to write down the value of several acquisitions, and drove a failed push into environmentally friendly energy that led to spiraling costs.
Siemens had a profit margin of 9.5 percent in 2012 when competitors ABB Ltd. and General Electric Co. had margins of 10.3 percent and 15 percent, respectively. So-called sector profit from the main health care, industry, infrastructure and energy divisions fell to 1.26 billion euros in the fiscal third quarter of this year, from 1.82 billion euros a year earlier.