Klaus Kleinfeld

Klaus Kleinfeld

Klaus Kleinfeld (born November 6 1957 in Bremen, Germany) was chief executive officer (CEO) of Siemens AG from 2005 until July 2007.

On April 25, 2007, Siemens AG distributed a press release announcing that Kleinfeld was not available for a renewal of his contract. This was preceded by the supervisory board's indecisiveness in light of the ongoing corruption investigations at Siemens.

Displeased by this decision, Kleinfeld announced that he would leave his position by September 30, 2007.

In August 2007, Kleinfeld was appointed COO of Alcoa Inc. [ [http://www.alcoa.com/global/en/news/news_detail.asp?pageID=20070815005503en&newsYear=2007 Alcoa: News: News Releases: Klaus Kleinfeld Elected Alcoa President and Chief Operating Officer ] ] Beginning October 1st, 2007, he will oversee the operative business for the US Aluminum concern. In May 2008, Kleinfeld was appointed as CEO of Alcoa, thus succeeding Alain Belda.

He started his career in 1982 by joining a specialized marketing consulting firm and worked with clients like Siemens, Henkel, Citibank, EFFEN, and industry associations.


Kleinfeld received a business degree from Georg August University in Göttingen, Germany and a Ph.D. in management, University of Würzburg.

In 1986, he joined Ciba-Geigy in Basel (Switzerland), where he was a product manager in the Pharmaceutical Division.

Kleinfeld has worked for Siemens AG since 1987. His first position was in the company’s Corporate Sales and Marketing unit.

In January 2001, Kleinfeld moved to the United States, where he served first as chief operating officer (COO) and then – from 2002 to 2004 – as president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Siemens USA.

In January 2004, Klaus Kleinfeld was appointed to Siemens’ Corporate Executive Committee.Kleinfeld was appointed Vice President of Siemens AG in the middle of 2004 and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) on January 27, 2005, succeeding Dr. Heinrich von Pierer. As CEO, Kleinfeld set about restructuring Siemens. This led to the company turning in profits last year of $3.96 billion (up 35%) and increasing Siemens share price by 40%. [ [http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1617532,00.html Siemens Goes Mega - TIME ] ] His attempts at modernization, however, brought him into conflict with the defenders of Siemens business culture, both inside and outside the company. [ [http://www.spiegel.de/international/0,1518,440409,00.html The World from Berlin: Siemens Strikes Back - International - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News ] ] While generally viewed positively by the worldwide financial press, Kleinfeld regularly received criticism from the media in Germany, mostly for lack of social responsility against Siemens workers.

Under his leadership, the company's financially stricken mobile handset business was sold for a negative charge to Taiwan's BenQ in June 2005. The German subsidiary, BenQ Mobile GmbH & Co. OHG, declared bankruptcy about one year later when the Taiwanese parent enterprise stopped all funding, resulting in extensive redundancies. This led to speculation in the German media that Siemens had off-loaded the division to avoid dealing with the fallout of its imminent demise. [ [http://www.spiegel.de/international/0,1518,440409,00.html The World from Berlin: Siemens Strikes Back - International - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News ] ] At about the same time, Siemens' Supervisory Board increased the salary of the Siemens Board of Directors by 30% [ [http://www.forbes.com/markets/feeds/afx/2006/09/17/afx3022635.html Siemens supervisory board plans to up 2007 management board salaries by 30 pct - Forbes.com ] ] although, in an attempt at damage limitation over the negative publicity involved in the redundancies, the board pledged their pay rises to a relief fund set up by Siemens to aid the workers affected. [ [http://www.spiegel.de/international/0,1518,440409,00.html The World from Berlin: Siemens Strikes Back - International - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News ] ]

In Autumn 2006, a series of corruption charges were laid against Siemens and there was speculation in the media about Kleinfeld's involvement. An independent law firm, Debevoise & Plimpton, were appointed to do a complete audit of the company. Indications are that the problem is far greater than originally thought, although their reports have found no links between Kleinsfeld and the slush funds. [ [http://news.moneycentral.msn.com/provider/providerarticle.aspx?Feed=FT&Date=20070424&ID=6786492 Page expired - MSN Money ] ]

Kleinfeld is a member of the board of directors of Alcoa Inc., of Bayer AG and of Citigroup Inc. After the announcement that he would be joining Alcoa, he resigned from the Citigroup board as Alcoa’s then CEO was the lead director for the board.


*"Corporate Identity und strategische Unternehmensführung", Akademie-Verlag München 1994, ISBN 3-929115-16-6


External links

* [http://www.siemens.com Siemens AG Official website]
* [http://usa.siemens.com Siemens Corporation USA official website]

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