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Siemens names first outsider as CEO

May 21, 2007 at 4:07 PM   |   Comments

MUNICH, Germany, May 21 (UPI) -- German engineering giant Siemens AG hired an outsider from the pharmaceutical industry to run the scandal-scarred company starting July 1.

Austria-born Peter Loescher, 49, president of Global Human Health at Merck & Co., will be the first chief executive in Siemens' 160-year history not to have worked at the company before, The New York Times reported Monday.

He will succeed Klaus Kleinfeld, also 49, who said last month he would leave Siemens after his contract expires in September.

A spreading bribery investigation triggered Kleinfeld's resignation and that of Chairman Heinrich von Pierer last month. Kleinfeld was not personally implicated in the scandal.

Siemens supervisory board Chairman Gerhard Cromme said Loescher's reputation for honesty was among the qualities that led to his selection.

"His upright character, his global background, his outstanding international reputation and his wide-ranging experience in business development and strategy, the financial markets and technology-related issues were the key factors in our decision," Cromme said.

"I am convinced that Mr. Loescher has what it takes to steer Siemens through its current difficulties and into a better future," he continued.

Siemens makes products ranging from steam turbines and high-speed trains to light bulbs and medical devices.

© 2007 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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