German heavy engineering giant Siemens AG (NYSE:SI) (FRA:SIE) (ETR:SIE) promoted insider Ralf Thomas as its new chief financial officer on Wednesday. The company has also brought in SAP AG (NYSE:SAP) (ETR:SAP) (FRA:SAP)’s Co-CEO Jim Hagemann Snabe to its supervisory board. The post of CFO was unoccupied since Joe Kaesar became CEO of the company in July.
Siemens trying to boost profit margins
Ralf Thomas will become the group CFO, effective immediately. He was the financial chief of Siemens AG (NYSE:SI) (FRA:SIE) (ETR:SIE)’s industrial products division, and has made several successful acquisitions. Industrial products is the second most profitable division of Siemens AG (NYSE:SI) (FRA:SIE) (ETR:SIE) with 12 percent profit margins. Healthcare business is the most profitable unit of the German company with a 13.3 percent profit margin in 2012. Siemens AG (NYSE:SI) (FRA:SIE) (ETR:SIE) aims to boost its profit margins. Last year, the company had a profit margin of 9.5 percent, compared to 10.3 percent of ABB Ltd (NYSE:ABB) (VTX:ABBN) and 15 percent of General Electric Company (NYSE:GE).
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SAP AG (NYSE:SAP) (ETR:SAP) (FRA:SAP) Co-CEO Snabe joins the largest industrial conglomerate in Europe after Siemens AG (NYSE:SI) (FRA:SIE) (ETR:SIE)’s deputy chairman Josef Ackermann resigned from his job last week. The current supervisory board member Werner Wenning will step into the shoes of Ackermann. Josef Ackerman stepped down due to a dispute over the ouster of ex-Siemens AG (NYSE:SI) (FRA:SIE) (ETR:SIE) CEO Peter Loescher. Joe Kaeser replaced Peter Loescher. Under Loescher, Siemens AG’s profits began to disappear as the company wrote off the value of numerous acquisitions. Ackermann was against the ousting of Loescher, but chairman Gerhard Cromme remained firm in his decision, reports Alex Webb of Bloomberg.
Siemens AG (NYSE:SI) (FRA:SIE) (ETR:SIE) said that HR chief Brigitte Ederer is also stepping down later this month in a mutual agreement. Chief technology officer Klaus Helmrich will now handle Ederer’s responsibilities as well.
Snabe’s appointment good for Siemens
Analysts consider Snabe’s appointment to Siemens’s supervisory board a good decision. His expertise in software technology will help Siemens AG (NYSE:SI) (FRA:SIE) (ETR:SIE) improve its offerings like high-speed trains and industrial automation. In July, SAP AG (NYSE:SAP) (ETR:SAP) (FRA:SAP) announced that it will eliminate the dual CEO structure starting next year. So, Bill McDermontt, another Co-CEO of the business software maker, is expected to become the sole chief of the company after a shareholder voting.
American shares of Siemens AG (NYSE:SI) (FRA:SIE) (ETR:SIE) shares jumped 0.94 percent to $119.34.