Siemens CEO Löscher said to fight his ouster

Lennart Preiss | Getty Images for Siemens

Siemens CEO Peter Löscher will fight the group's plans to oust him, German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported on Monday, saying the chief of the industrial group will only step down if the company's chairman also quits.

If Gerhard Cromme, who hired Löscher six years ago, refused to go, Löscher would attempt to find the required two-thirds majority to prevent him from being fired, the paper said. According to boardroom sources cited by the paper Löscher's chances of succeeding in doing so were extremely slim.

Siemens said in a statement that the supervisory board would decide on Löscher's departure on Wednesday. His ouster comes four years before the end of his contract.

Löscher took the helm at Siemens in 2007 to clean up the group after it was hit by a corruption scandal. When Loescher became CEO six years ago as the first company outsider to take the helm at Siemens, he was presented as a hero who would lead Siemens out of the massive bribery scandal that had tarnished its image and its finances.

But after tackling that task, Loescher started losing credibility as he repeatedly misjudged demand development in its main markets.

A bellwether of Germany's economy whose products range from gas turbines to fast trains and hearing aids, Siemens is suffering from the stuttering global demand that saw German exports fall the most since late 2009 in May.

The company has faced repeated delays of major projects and last week issued its second profit warning this year.

Two people familiar with the matter earlier told Reuters that the majority of Siemens' 20-member supervisory board favored finance chief Joe Kaeser as replacement for Loescher. The company declined to comment.

There have been persistent rumors over the past year that Kaeser, who was already on Siemens' management board when Loescher joined in 2007, had his eye on Loescher's job, though the two have repeatedly said they worked well together.

Late last year, when questioned about the rumors, the CFO said the two complemented each other like "light and dark".

Reuters contributed to this story.

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