Siemens names Peter Loescher new CEO

He will replace Klaus Kleinfeld on June 30

Siemens AG yesterday named Merck & Co.'s Peter Loescher as its new president and CEO in an effort to break with recent scandals that have plagued the company.

Loescher, currently serving as president of global human health at Merck in New Jersey, will replace Klaus Kleinfeld on June 30. In April, Kleinfeld told Siemens' supervisory board that he was stepping down, choosing not to renew his contract, which is due to expire on Oct. 1. Prior to joining Merck, Loescher served on the corporate executive council of Siemens rival General Electric Co.

The native Austrian joins Siemens in the wake of investigations into bribery allegations by authorities in Germany and the U.S., including the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and U.S. Department of Justice. In March, German police arrested Siemens board member Johannes Feldmayer as part of their investigation into the alleged bribery of the head of a German labor organization.

Kleinfeld has denied wrongdoing, and no charges have been filed against him. The investigations are continuing.

Despite the taint of corruption, Siemens' most recent financial results indicate that the company is on the right track. In April, it reported a 36% increase in net income for its fiscal second quarter, with 10% year-on-year growth.

Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

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