Nobody said reforming Siemens was going to be easy

JOE KAESER cuts an unusual figure among the taciturn bosses of Deutschland AG. The wiry 62-year-old is bursting with energy. He unabashedly tweets (in both English and German) about his concern over the rise of the hard-right in Germany—and, more atypically still, considers such pronouncements to be part of his job as a captain of German industry.

Mr Kaeser’s boldness has made him friends, but also bitter enemies, who accuse him of calculated PR, hypocrisy, double standards and far worse. He was widely criticised for meeting Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, shortly after his annexation of Crimea and for cosying up to the governments of Saudi Arabia, China and Iran when big contracts are at stake. “The voice of morality is flexible,” was the headline of a recent article about Mr Kaeser in the Neue Züricher Zeitung. Mr Kaeser admits that moral values and business interests can clash. “It is a thin line to walk,” he says. But “values don’t always create jobs.”

These days Mr Kaeser may be making headlines for his worldview. But his six-year effort to spruce up one of Germany’s industrial giants deserves equal—if not greater—attention. True to his temperament, he has gone about this mammoth task in a thrusting manner. Success, he believes, is near. Is it?

The son of a mechanic from Lower...

via Business Feeds

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