One year after your arrival at the head of Siemens, where is the Group
After having launched several major projects, we open a second phase, where the priority is to become the most effective possible and to translate the increase of the turnover growth yet more strong of our result. In the first phase, we set up our new organization focused on three strategic markets: industry, energy and health. Now, we must improve the performance of all our projects and speed. We want to exploit all the possibilities of our portfolio of clients. EDF, for example, to consumerism. Siemens therefore the reply to enable it to achieve its development abroad. Same thing for the products: with a volume of EUR 17 billion, we have the most extensive portfolio of "green" technologies in the world. Simply responding to the request of our customers, we will achieve a turnover of EUR 25 billion in 2011.
Should we soon expect to financial transactions in scope
These last three years, Siemens has reorganized 50 of its portfolio. We have sold activities, us have purchased and some were placed in common companies. Now we almost completed the refocusing strategy launched by my predecessor, and we will now focus on organic growth. This does not mean that there will be no acquisitions or disposals, but there will be no movements of as much magnitude as in the past, when we sold Siemens VDO to Continental for 11.4 billion.
In the wind, you want to move from sixth to third world place. Will you succeed without purchases
We are the number one wind power offshore, which is currently the segment growth. This will help us to catch up with our competitors.
Did you not frightened by multiple acquisitions in this sector
I do not think that there is a bubble in the wind, because the sector will continue to grow. In the third quarter of fiscal 2008, our volume of business in renewable energy has increased by 200.
Are there promising areas where you are not yet present and in which you want to invest
No, we believe that there is not place to this day to major investments where we already have the ideal strategic portfolio. With its activities in energy, health and infrastructure, Siemens is perfectly positioned. The boom in the energy sector is expected to continue, the ageing of the population will require more medical equipment, and the increase in the number of inhabitants in cities will support the application in terms of infrastructure and also to energy supply. My arrival at Siemens, I did not need to change radically strategy, because the direction taken was correct.
For 2009, there are serious cloud on the horizon...
The economic context will even harder next year. Today, we feel difficulties, for example in some activities in Germany and in some areas of the sector of water and infrastructure in the United States. But the focus of the activities of the company we protects, to a large extent, cyclical developments in short cycle: now, 70 of our portfolio correspond to long-term infrastructure. We launched our program of reduction of administrative costs while "the Sun was shining. This is useful when the first clouds appear, because our cost structure will be as good as that of our competitors. Nevertheless, we expect a certain slowdown in the growth of our entries of orders.
Where are you in the implementation of this plan
We announced to want to reduce our administrative costs of 1.2 billion by 2010 and we are on the right track. We started from above: instead of having a central Executive Board and management for each trade team, we now have a Director General for each of our 3 areas, each Member of the Executive Board. We harmonise our computer platforms and reduce expenses granted to outside Council missions. In Germany, we have just come to an agreement with the unions to define the conditions of implementation of the measures relating to the staff in our plan to reduce costs.
How can you reduce costs if you want to continue growing two times faster than world GDP
We want better affect our charges. That is to say that certain support functions will see their numbers increase, while other departments directly in contact with customers will continue to recruit. Germany for example, we will of course delete3.850 jobs, but we are looking to hire 3,000 people to positions of engineer primarily. Siemens has created more than 14,000 jobs in the world in the last three quarters. We will just manage our growth more efficiently.
The stock market does not have the air satisfied...
Look at what we have already made in twelve months, and the extent of our program 2010. I am sure that this will eventually be reflected in the Siemens share price.
Are you looking to enter a sovereign fund to your capital
Siemens is one of the most globalised companies, with an extremely diversified shareholding. All investors are welcome.
What do you think of the transaction of General Electric with Mubadala, the Abu Dhabi Fund
For their development in this region, this is a very elegant operation.
Concerning the possible revision of the French nuclear industry, the record appears to be stalled. As a shareholder of the subsidiary of Areva who built reactors, is this also your sense
We are not decision-making in the matter. From January 2009, Areva will have the opportunity to exercise his option to purchase on the 34 held by Siemens, which would lead to a release in 2012. But Anne Lauvergeon, I meet regularly, has repeatedly stressed the fact that it was satisfied of our good relationship. At Siemens, we strive for a balanced energy mix concept. Also is the nuclear an activity of strategic importance, in the same way as the others.
Are you concerned about the explosion of the costs of the Finnish EPR
Of course, with Areva we follow it very closely. This is the first project of this type for Areva, and it is not simple. We regularly inform financial markets about the evolution of this project. In the last quarter, we have indicated that the results of the investments may be more volatile in our fossil energy division.
What perspective do you wear on the Germany after ten years abroad
My return in 2007, I was surprised by the strength of the German industry, including the "Mittelstand" companies It is part of these large discrete SMEs that should success in the export of the Germany. This is the reason why they are called "hidden champions". You know Schaeffler before the OPA to 12 billion euros on Continental Little-known to the public, they are in fact leaders in global niche markets, with leading-edge technology. I think that Siemens can learn from these companies to become faster, closer to its customers and more enterprising. Be fast, responsive and agile: these are the qualities which must be Siemens sales force.
When will we see a woman, a Chinese or a black to the Executive Board of Siemens You recently said that it was your wish...
With a presence in more than 190 countries, our implementation is truly global. Many companies talk about cultural diversity. We have it! And we want to make diversity a competitive advantage and give equal opportunities to all employees regardless of their passport or the country in which they begin their careers.
Is this your experience at General Electric teaching
I especially learned in my home environment! I have Italian origins, Austrian parents, a Spanish woman, two American children, and a third who is also Spanish. I'm Austrian. I lived in sort of the "United Nations" in my family scale. And professionally, I worked in a Franco-German company, then in Britain, then in the United States in GE and Merck. I studied on 3 different continents. This gives me a different point of view. It is not only to learn to speak foreign languages, but open up new perspectives and learn that the road to success is not in the same way in all countries.
The consequences in the long term of the corruption scandal in your group
We are going to out stronger and more competitive, because the case will allow Siemens to accelerate its cultural change. Wrongdoing are never listed in our company culture. A limited number of leaders have faulted, they have broken the law and they did not admit that a red line was a red line.
Alstom seems a similar situation. Does this mean that it cannot do "normal" business in certain countries or sectors
The question is simple. You can find corruption anywhere in the world and often, it is a matter of individuals. Simply, it should be the choice to work with such client or not, or to leave some projects. But this is not a question of countries in General.