Siemens Said to Pick von Drathen for Board Support Group

Siemens AG will probably appoint investor relations head Mariel von Drathen, strategy chief Horst Kayser and incoming personnel development head Janina Kugel to a new executive support group below the management board, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The person asked not to be identified as the members of the six-person group, which will support the management board by running day-to-day operations, haven’t been announced yet. Siemens Chief Executive Officer Joe Kaeser said earlier today at a conference in Berlin that the group will start in January. He didn’t reveal the names of the executives, while saying that “two to three will be women.” A Siemens representative declined to comment.

The six managers will “allow the executive board to concentrate on the company’s core competencies,” Kaeser said. Von Drathen and Kugel would become Siemens’s most senior female managers, alongside Britta Fuenfstueck, who was appointed head of clinical products Jan. 9. The division is one level below the four sectors into which Siemens classifies its operations.

Former finance chief Kaeser became CEO in August after predecessor Peter Loescher slashed a profit target five times in his six-year tenure. To match the profitability of rivals such as ABB Ltd. and General Electric Co., Kaeser is trying to reduce charges for mismanaged projects that have weighed upon earnings of Munich-based Siemens, Europe’s biggest engineering company.

Kaeser has already unraveled a sales structure established by Loescher, returning distribution competencies to country managers from the previous cross-border cluster organization. He has also reorganized the energy division by carving out the oil and gas sales functions into a separate division and unifying fossil fuel power generation units.

Siemens Chairman Gerhard Cromme has been downsizing the company’s board, with human resources head Brigitte Ederer and procurement chief Barbara Kux both departing since September.

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