Siemens decide cómo revitalizar sus filiales menos rentables
El 'International Herald Tribune' destaca, por su parte, que entre las medidas que toman en cuenta se encuentra una reestructuración en la división de servicios Siemens Business Services (SBS), lastrada por los costes, así como una revitalización de las divisiones de comunicaciones y logística.
MADRID, 30 (EUROPA PRESS).- El consejero delegado de Siemens, Klaus Kleinfeld, mantuvo ayer una reunión estratégica con los responsables de las distintas divisiones del grupo para estudiar medidas que permitan al grupo resolver los problemas de las divisiones menos rentables, según refleja la prensa alemana.

El pasado domingo, Kleinfeld subrayó que en dicha reunión se redactaría un informe interno sobre el estado de estas tres problemáticas divisiones.

Kleinfeld, de 47 años y que sucedió en enero a Heinrich von Pierer, recientemente nombrado asesor económico de la candidata democristiana a la Cancillería alemana Angela Merkel, se enfrenta a críticas por los malos resultados experimentados por los títulos de la compañía en el parqué de Francfort desde que asumió el cargo, una situación que los analistas atribuyen a que menos de la mitad de las unidades del grupo están cumpliendo con los márgenes de rentabilidad fijados por la compañía en 2000.

El máximo responsable de Siemens se comprometió en abril a lograr estos objetivos en un plazo máximo de dos años, y a mediados de agosto la revista 'Der Spiegel' se hacía eco de un ultimátum a los responsables de la división SBS y especulaba, citando fuentes de la compañía, con que Kleinfeld podría estudiar el despido del responsable de SBS, Adrian von Hammerstein, así como el de sus principales colaboradores, si no lograban proponer un plan convincente para reactivar esta división en la reunión de ayer.

Para capear el temporal, y después de rechazar una oferta de compra del grupo francés Atos Origin, Kleinfeld vendió el grupo de servicios de informática Sinitec a la alemana A-und-O, y entregó a SBS la responsabilidad del mantenimiento tecnológico de la compañía, en un esfuerzo para añadir carga de trabajo a esta división, que podría terminar siguiendo los pasos del negocio de telefonía móvil, vendido a Benq.

La plantilla de SBS asciende a 36.100 personas en todo el mundo, 15.100 en Alemania. Siemens creó la división hace diez años como una filial de Siemens Informationnsysteme AG business, que se creó en 1990 tras la compra del fabricante Nixdorf Computer.

Siemens chief pushes 'one for all' strategy
By Carter Dougherty International Herald Tribune

FRANKFURT Perhaps international sporting events will provide the best measure of whether Klaus Kleinfeld, the new chief executive at Siemens, succeeds in molding a more cohesive whole out of the dozen divisions that make up the engineering giant.
Last year, this German conglomerate took part in projects for the Olympic Games in Athens, providing things like stadium security systems. The 2004 European soccer championships in Lisbon were held in stadiums that were lit by Siemens lighting systems and linked by the company's telephone and data networks. Siemens fire and security systems stand guard at the arena in Berlin where the final World Cup soccer match is scheduled to be played next year.
And Kleinfeld dreams that by the time China plays host to the 2008 Olympic Games - and spends an estimated 47 billion, or $58 billion, on infrastructure - Siemens will do everything for stadiums but mold the bricks and mix the mortar.
Communications systems, energy management, medical clinics, lighting and logistics could all come from the company if Kleinfeld can change an entrenched culture in which business units guard their independence fiercely.
"We're on the learning curve, hoping it gets better and better," said Christian Pöttinger, a manager with Siemens's communications equipment division.
Dieter Ludwicki, an executive with Siemens's building technology group, describes the task with jargon that is echoing through the halls of the headquarters in Munich: "'Siemens One' has to be a way of thinking."
Long accustomed to wooing customers individually, Siemens's 12 divisions have received orders from Kleinfeld to pursue the big contracts - stadiums, transport networks, airports - in ever-closer formation. Siemens One, Kleinfeld reasons, must be the best strategy, since precious few competitors, notably General Electric in the United States, can match the breadth of Siemens.
But as Kleinfeld seeks greater cooperation, he is also grappling with problems unique to the company's individual units, problems that are dragging down profit. After disposing of an unprofitable mobile phone business in June, Siemens now must restructure a computer services division beset by high costs. It also must strengthen underperforming communications and logistics groups.
Toward those goals, top Siemens executives have been called to attend a special strategy session on Monday.
"The majority of Siemens divisions tend to function very well," said Falk Reimann, an analyst with Landesbank Baden-Württemberg in Stuttgart. "We're talking mostly about individual problems, but they are serious."
Kleinfeld, 47, who took over from the longtime chief executive Heinrich von Pierer in January, immediately assumed a high profile. Kleinfeld now directs the operations of one of the most prominent corporations in Germany, where wisdom is often presumed to come only with age.
In a speech in April, Kleinfeld vowed to have all the company's divisions profitable within two years of his start date. The first step was unloading Siemens's mobile phone business to BenQ, a company in Taiwan. Although Siemens had to pay 350 million to BenQ, the deal ended what analysts widely regarded as a financial and public relations disaster.
Third-quarter results, reported on July 28, showed a 50 percent drop in net income compared with a year earlier, demonstrating that Kleinfeld needs to repair individual divisions before turning his full attention toward Siemens One. Siemens's information services group, one of the company's most important, with 4.7 billion in sales last year, posted a loss of 109 million, while its communications and logistics divisions also showed increased losses. At the meeting next week, Kleinfeld will be looking for solutions that put these groups back on the road to profitability, analysts said.
Dealing with money-losing divisions may prove a tougher challenge for Kleinfeld than quitting the mobile phone business, analysts said. Achieving cost savings will probably require delicate negotiations with Siemens unions that are already unnerved by the prospect that BenQ might cut jobs in Germany, analysts said. "It's much harder to hold on to a business and keep it on the right track," said Theo Kitz, an analyst with Merck Fink in Munich.
But Kleinfeld has left little doubt that rather than being firefighter-in-chief, he wants to turn his full attention to overhauling the Siemens approach toward winning business in the first place, company executives said.
Siemens's divisions traditionally pursue new contracts largely in isolation from one another, and a project for an electricity plant in India, for example, could very well receive separate bids from the company's power-generation, building and lighting divisions, rather than a single proposal encompassing everything Siemens might be able to do.
Kleinfeld's stint as chief of Siemens Corp., the American subsidiary, convinced him that changing this tradition was both desirable and doable. In 2002, when Kleinfeld took over at Siemens Corp., it was losing money. His turnaround strategy relied on cutting 5,000 jobs and, analysts said, a bit of luck: U.S. electricity companies were replacing their turbines en masse at the time, and many of them bought from Siemens.
Around that time, Kleinfeld used his position as head of all U.S. operations to force individual divisions to swap market intelligence about clients who were buying from one group, and who might be persuaded to buy from others. With a heavy focus on airports and hospitals, the strategy paid off, and Siemens now says the collective approach earned it an additional $1 billion in the United States from 2001 to 2003.
"They lacked a strong regional hand that could make it happen in the past," said Ralf von Jena, marketing communications chief on the Siemens One team.
Soon after he joined the managing board in Munich in 2004, Kleinfeld became an internal advocate for Siemens One, and his appointment as chief executive confirms the momentum behind the effort, company officials said.
The change has led Siemens to embrace new management techniques, like company Internet portals that managers from different divisions can use to brainstorm for ideas and locate talent in other groups. Deputy chiefs from Siemens's divisions now keep in touch regularly, as do cross-division teams working on specific areas, said Ludwicki, the executive with the building technology group.
If Kleinfeld can persuade Siemens divisions to band together as they tackle the major infrastructure projects that are Siemens specialties, like stadiums, he will have pulled off one of the most important changes in Siemens's 158-year history. Still, the approach is in its infancy. "We may never be able to quantify from the outside whether this strategy works," said Kitz, the Merck Fink analyst. "It's a question of the corporate culture at Siemens."