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Siemens stockholding employees plan to denounce management amid corruption scandal

Siemens stockholding employees plan to denounce management amid corruption scandal

An association of Siemens AG employees who hold stock in the German engineering and technology company say they plan to withhold their approval of management at an upcoming stockholders' meeting amid an ongoing corruption scandal.
The shareholders, in a letter dated Dec. 13, said they would denounce the company's executives at the annual meeting in January. They gave several reasons, including management's failure to apply internal rules that might have prevented the alleged corruption, and 30 percent raises for some directors even as the company slashed some jobs and cut wages of employees.
"A short-term shareholders policy, ... unreasonable raises for the board of directors and the corruption allegations have led to unacceptable loss of trust in the company," the letter said.
The shareholder approval of management is a formality, but offers disgruntled investors a chance to show displeasure by withholding their votes.
Six current or former Siemens employees, including the ex-head of its telecommunications equipment unit, Thomas Ganswindt, were detained in November after Munich prosecutors ordered raids on company offices across Germany.
Investigators accuse the six of committing breach of trust against Siemens in cases stretching back to 2002 by setting up secret funds outside Germany. Siemens says it has identified suspicious payments involving some euro420 million (about US$550 million).
Though the six have since been released, they remain under investigation. It is unclear when they might be charged.
Swiss and Italian prosecutors, who are also conducting investigations, suspect the secret funds were used to pay bribes to secure lucrative foreign contracts for the Munich-based company.
Chief Executive Klaus Kleinfeld has hired an outside anti-corruption expert and a law firm to examine and revise Siemens' own anti-corruption safeguards.


Updated : 2021-04-17 22:44 GMT+08:00