Siemens Chief Kaeser Predicts Outpacing Rivals From 2018

Siemens AG, Europe’s biggest engineering company, predicts it will take at least four years until it’s able to grow faster than its competitors.

The pace of innovation means it will take until 2018 to catch up with peers, Chief Executive Officer Joe Kaeser told Germany’s Manager Magazin in an interview. Siemens spokesman Alexander Becker confirmed the comments.

Kaeser, who was appointed in August 2013, revealed his strategy, dubbed Siemens 2020, in May to catch up with rivals such as General Electric Co. and ABB Ltd. He intends to build the Munich-based company around ’’electrification, automation and digitalization,’’ and has set about divesting consumer-facing and health-care businesses and spending the proceeds on energy-equipment acquisitions.

He sealed the $7.6 billion takeover of Dresser-Rand Inc. last month to make up lost ground on GE in supplying equipment to the U.S. shale gas industry, adding to the May purchase of Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc’s energy operations.

As part of the review, Kaeser also eliminated an administrative layer, carving the company into nine divisions to replace the four sectors which had existed, and saying the move would save Siemens 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) in annual costs by 2016.

As many as 10,000 jobs could be lost as a consequence, Manager Magazin wrote today, citing unidentified people at the company. Earlier this year Kaeser said that 11,600 positions are affected by the restructuring, with many of those roles being reabsorbed.

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