Siemens chairman Heinrich von Pierer is stepping down from his role next week following a corruption scandal that has engulfed the German consumer electronics giant. The company has yet to appoint a replacement.
There has been increasing speculation that Von Pierer would resign over the corruption scandal. He was chief executive of the company over a seven year period during which accusations of bribery have been made.
But Von Pierer denies he is leaving as a result of the investigation and he adds: “I have always believed that one’s duty to the company and its employees must take priority over one’s own interests.”
Prosecutors are currently investigating financial transactions worth €426m (£289m) at Siemens over the seven year period. It is alleged the money came from sham contracts, which was subsequently used to bribe potential clients. They are also interviewing current and former executives over two other alleged bribery cases.
Klaus Kleinfield, the current Siemens chief executive, has not been implicated in any corruption, but†it is unclear how Von Pierer’s departure will affect him.