The ongoing investigation into allegations of widespread bribery, corruption, secret slush funds and bank accounts at Siemens’ telecommunications business may have claimed a scalp – that of Heinrich von Pierer, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Siemens AG.
Herr von Pierer, a former long-time CEO of the company between 1992 and 2005 and also an advisor to the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, resigned late on Friday. He will leave his post on Thursday this week and will be replaced by Gerhard Cromme who is the chairman of the influential audit committee at Siemens
In a statement von Pierer said, “I have always believed that one’s duty to the company and its well over 400,000 employees worldwide must take priority over one’s own interests. A personal responsibility regarding the current investigations was not the basis for my decision.”
He continued, “Despite its outstanding business performance, Siemens has run into a difficult situation due to the in part apparent and in part alleged misconduct of a number of managers and employees. Late last year, the Supervisory and Managing Boards initiated a comprehensive and independent investigation of what had occurred. The measures launched at that time are being rigorously implemented. The sole reason for my decision today is to serve the best interests of Siemens. My goal is to support the company’s sustained success, and our impressive performance worldwide makes my
decision much easier. I assume that electing a new Chairman of the Supervisory Board will also make a contribution toward taking our company out of the headlines and bringing it back into calmer waters.”
Dr. Klaus Kleinfeld, President and CEO of Siemens AG stated, “I have always associated the greatest honesty and exemplary behavior with Heinrich v. Pierer. That was always the case, and it is particularly so in these difficult times. The entire company, the Managing Board team and I personally owe him our deepest and most sincere thanks. His experience was – and is – especially valuable for us.”