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Succession Planning Case Study

Case Title:

Siemens: The Challenges of Leadership Change

Publication Year : 2005

Authors: Dakshi Mohanty, T. Phani Madhav

Industry: Engineering, Electrical and Electronics


Case Code: SUP0003

Teaching Note: Available

Structured Assignment: Available

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After 12 years at the helm of affairs of Siemens AG, Heinrich von Pierer, who was considered one of Germany's top managers and was credited with transforming the 157-year-old electronics and electrical engineering conglomerate into a powerful global player, stepped down from the chief executive position in January 2005. In place of Heinrich von Pierer, Klaus Kleinfeld, CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of Siemens' US unit, was appointed as the new CEO of the company. Though the company was in a good financial state, some of its prominent business units like the mobile handset unit and Siemens Transportation Systems were incurring heavy losses.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To understand the leadership styles of Heinrich von Pierer and Klaus Kleinfeld
  • To discuss as to which approach would be adopted by Kleinfeld, the ‘American’ approach or the consensus-driven German management style in turning around Siemens AG.

Keywords : Siemens; Klaus Kleinfeld; Heinrich von Pierer; ‘Top’ or ‘time-optimised processes’; Restructuring / Turnaround Strategies Case Study; Ten-point Programme; Siemens under Heinrich von Pierer; Operation 2003; Siemens Management System; US-management style; Siemens Transportation Systems; Telecommunications unit; Medical solutions; Leadership change; American leadership style; Challenges of leadership change


  • Introduction
  • Siemens under Heinrich von Pierer
  • Klaus Kleinfeld Steps in
  • Can Klienfeld Succeed?

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