Enlarge image

Causes family trouble:

The new Siemens Energy supervisory board member

Veronika Grimm

Photo: Hannes P Albert / dpa

If Siemens and Siemens Energy were really relatives, then today would be the day on which

Roland Busch

(59) and

Joe Kaeser

(66) should register for a psychological family constellation.

There is no other way to help the two of them.

The latest evidence came from yesterday's vote on supervisory board candidate

Veronika Grimm

(52) at Siemens Energy's general meeting.

As understandable as Siemens' decision to reject the economic method is, CEO Roland Busch's previous silence was just as incomprehensible.

Just a reminder: On December 21, 2023, the Energy Supervisory Board led by Chairman Kaeser had nominated the professor - who is also a member of the Economic Advisory Council - for election to the Supervisory Board.

Of course, this was also preceded by discussions with Siemens, which is still an important anchor shareholder (Siemens recently held 17 percent directly and through an investment company).

Only yesterday, after the vote, Siemens released the following statement: “In the run-up to the voting process, previously unknown concerns were made public that affect both the success of Prof. Grimm as a member of the supervisory board for Siemens Energy and as a member of the expert committee would.

Due to this conflict of interest, Siemens AG did not vote for the appointment.”

This quote is a lesson in poor crisis management.

If the obvious concerns had not become public, would Siemens have voted for Ms. Grimm?

In any case, the question was already obvious in December: How can someone who supports the energy politicians in this country with wise advice be independent when he or she also receives well over 120,000 euros from Germany's largest energy company for controlling the fortunes of this company check?

How seriously should the call for network expansion be taken if it means that your own account balance may also be constantly increasing?

Corporate governance does not mean that everything is allowed as long as everyone follows the rules of the game.

Rather, everything is done to design the rules of the game in such a way that, in the best case, there is not even a hint of a conflict of interest.

It was therefore obvious that there was a lot of debate about Grimm's appointment, and Siemens endured this debate as one does far too often at the end of a relationship that no longer works: with thunderous silence.

The rejection of the economist Grimm from the control committee was all the more surprising.

Because not all shareholders entitled to vote were present, the Siemens Group's no to agenda item 7a was even more serious and the approval for Grimm was an embarrassing 76.43 percent.

However, this is particularly embarrassing for Siemens and its representative, Siemens CFO

Ralf Thomas

(62), who has just left the supervisory board.

According to Kaeser indirectly during the general meeting, he is said to have voted for Grimm in the nomination committee.

There is no other explanation for the unanimity that Kaeser proudly announced.

The morning after there are only losers.

Because it's not just Siemens that has to put up with questions about integrity.

The debate about the Grimm economy will not stop until it has decided on a task.

Joe “you always see each other twice in your life” Kaeser will not be able to survive the defeat in the vote without taking revenge and the company will be distracted from what should actually be happening: using the energy transition to make money.

That was actually on the agenda yesterday.

But unfortunately this is rarely what a relationship dispute is about.