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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 April 2007, 16:38 GMT 17:38 UK
Boss to quit scandal-hit Siemens
Siemens chief executive Klaus Kleinfeld
Mr Kleinfeld is not personally implicated in the scandal
The embattled boss of engineering group Siemens, Klaus Kleinfeld, has said he will stand down later this year.

Mr Kleinfeld, under pressure because of corruption claims surrounding the firm, said he would not renew his contract when it ends at the end of September.

The move comes after German police arrested a number of senior Siemens managers over allegations that they ran a 200m euros ($272m; 103m) slush fund.

Mr Kleinfeld is not under investigation but the scandal has hurt his position.

Clear leadership

His announcement came after a meeting of the firm's supervisory board.

The firm's shares fell after the news emerged, closing down 1.4% at 88.2 euros

In times likes these, the company needs clarity about its leadership
Klaus Kleinfeld, Siemens chief executive

In a statement, Mr Kleinfeld said he was stepping down in the interests of the firm's employees, customers and shareholders.

"In times likes these, the company needs clarity about its leadership," he stressed. "The company must have complete freedom of action."

Mr Kleinfeld is currently leading a major anti-corruption drive looking into a series of allegations which first emerged in November.

Siemens has said it has uncovered as much as 420m euros in suspicious payments to overseas buyers but has protested its innocence as a company.

Profits shine

The firm said an independent review of the allegations had cleared Mr Kleinfeld of any personal misconduct or knowledge of any impropriety.

Siemens headquarters
Siemens says its corruption probe has been rigorous

Dr Gerhard Cromme, a member of the firm's supervisory board, said that if any evidence of past wrongdoing was confirmed, it would be dealt with "without compromise".

German newspapers had reported that the Siemens' board was divided over whether Mr Kleinfeld should be removed from his position.

Siemens' chairman Heinrich von Pierer is himself standing down this week, although his departure is in no way connected to the scandal.

The board meeting came after Siemens reported a 36% rise in first quarter profits.

The firm made a net profit of 1.26bn euros ($1.71bn; 850m) between January and March, compared with 923m euros for the same period in 2006.

Siemens chair quits amid scandal
20 Apr 07 |  Business
Siemens executive kept in custody
28 Mar 07 |  Business
Siemens corruption trial starts
13 Mar 07 |  Business
Siemens boss rules out resigning
12 Feb 07 |  Business
Vote call by Siemens shareholders
01 May 07 |  Business
Police launch Siemens fraud probe
15 Nov 06 |  Business

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