The CEO of Siemens will learn on Wednesday whether he still has a job, in the wake of a probe into alleged bogus payments to bribe customers and influence trade.
The Siemens supervisory board is scheduled to decide at a meeting in Munich on whether to extend the contract of CEO Klaus Kleinfeld.
"The board plans to make a decision on Klaus Kleinfeld's contract, which expires at the end of September," a company spokesman said.
Speculation is rife that Kleinfeld could receive a one-year contract - or even possibly no contract - as supervisory board members seek ways to end a long-running corruption saga.
Supervisory board member Josef Ackermann, who is CEO of Deutsche Bank, has already held talks with potential candidates to replace Kleinfeld, the Financial Times reported Tuesday, quoting sources familiar with the talks. Siemens declined to comment on the report.
In 2005 Kleinfeld took over the helm of Siemens from Heinrich von Pierer, who moved over to become chairman of the supervisory board.
Last week, the bribery scandal prompted the resignation of von Pierer, who insisted he had no knowledge of any illegal activities in the company but felt that his decision would "make a contribution toward taking our company out of the headlines and bringing it back into calmer waters."
Six current or former Siemens employees are suspected of committing breach of trust against Siemens by setting up secret funds outside Germany to pay bribes to secure telecom contracts.
Last month, German police arrested board member Johannes Feldmayer, responsible for the Siemens IT services business, as part of an investigation into payments from the company to the head of the AUB labour organisation. Feldmayer has been temporarily released from his duties.
Kleinfeld has denied knowing anything about the payments.
The CEO has axed more than 7,000 jobs and moved the company away from low-margin manufacturing areas, such as telecom equipment, computers and chips, to areas he views as potentially more profitable, including factory automation, power generation and automotive systems.
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