Thursday, April 26, 2007

"Termination For Klaus" At Siemens

Now that I’ve posted about terrorists trying to kill us, it may be time to try and lighten the mood a bit.

As noted here, Siemens CEO Klaus Kleinfeld is leaving the company after the expiration of his contract in September of this year (I try to keep my wary eye towards the goings-on in corporate America and the world, often because the behavior of people in it who are regarded as such geniuses is often so totally ridiculous).

Well, one of my intrepid field agents was able to secure the intra-company communication from Our Boy Klaus to the rest of his overworked and underpaid staff. It appears below with appropriate commentary…

Siemens is in a unique and difficult situation.
i.e., Interpol is knocking down our doors and the news media is camping out at our homes 24/7 and skewering through our unshredded trash – and though we don’t know the German translation for the phrase “lawyered up,” I can assure you that we’re covered in that area also.

While the performance of the company's businesses is outstanding, we are in the midst of intensive compliance investigations.
We’re getting sued every way over Sunday, and it’s only a matter of time before Der Spiegel provides all of the gory details.

In times of such challenges, our customers, the capital markets and, above all, you, the employees of Siemens, expect clear leadership more than ever.
First and foremost, that’s why I’m outta here.

Clear signs of stability are required - and rightly so. Confidence in Siemens' management and its ability to keep the company on course over the long term is essential.
Not for you, but for the safe return of my shares of company stock.

The current public discussion regarding the company's future management is creating uncertainty both internally and externally. Our customers, employees and shareholders rightly expect a clear decision regarding Siemens' future leadership. However, the Chairman's Committee of the Supervisory Board has communicated the intention to postpone this decision once again.
No sense committing to anything until you’ve seen all the indictments, I guess.

I consider this lack of clarity regarding the company's management and my own mandate to be burdensome and unacceptable for the company and for you, its employees. For this reason, I have decided to no longer be available for the extension of my contract.
He’s leaving for “lack of clarity”? In what, the length of his sentence?

Together, we have achieved much, and I would particularly like to thank you, the employees of Siemens, for your outstanding performance in difficult times and for your daily commitment to the company and its success. Only through your efforts has it been possible to achieve the excellent position we hold today.
So excellent, in fact, that I’m going to “beat it out of Dodge” by the time this Email arrives in your inbox (again, I don’t know if there’s a literal German translation out there).

Regarding our compliance challenges, I am convinced that we are on the right course. We have put in place an independent process that will uncover any problems that may have occurred in the past and that will make Siemens a model of transparency.
One of my long-time corporate rules is that, when companies start talking about “transparency,” rest assured that you won’t be able to see a damn thing.

At the start of the investigations by the independent lawyers, I requested to be the first to be scrutinized.
Good for you, Schicklegruber.

Mr. Cromme, the Chairman of the Audit Committee and the new Chairman of the Supervisory Board, has relayed to me the expected news that the comprehensive independent investigations to date have yielded absolutely no suspicions of misconduct on my part.
But he’s leaving anyway after 20 years because of “a lack of clarity”…riiiiight.

It has been a great honor for me to have served as President and CEO of this magnificent company for the last two years. Together, we have succeeded in achieving extraordinary business success. Through our joint efforts, we have positioned the company optimally for the future. For this, I am very grateful to each and every one of you who worked so hard to achieve that great result.

While I sincerely regret having to leave the company that has been such an important part of my life for the past 20 years, I make this decision for the welfare of Siemens and its employees. The company must have a clear mandate for leadership. I hope that my decision will help make this possible.

With best regards,
Klaus Kleinfeld
Whoever authored this piece of corporate gobbledygook should stand up and take a bow.

And by the way, here’s more past fun with our boy Klaus (regarding the disappearing Rolex).

No comments: