Managers take the rap at Siemens and Motorola

The UK division of Siemens has announced the resignation of its CEO, Tom White, effective yesterday. It is now be run by Horst J Kayser, who is assuming the new role of CEO of Siemens' North West Europe 'cluster', according to Ovum. The region is worth some €9 billion annually to the company and now encompasses the UK and eleven other countries. Kayser was previously the head of Corporate Strategy at Siemens.

Phil Codling, principal analyst at Ovum commented, "This announcement follows a major disappointment for the UK operation, namely the loss of Siemens IT Solutions and Services' contract to build a central payments system for the Department of Work and Pensions.

"The contract loss, precipitated by significant project over-runs, was one factor in Siemens' recent profit warning. Tom White had taken on the role of CEO of Siemens in the UK in October 2007, having previously served as chief of Siemens IT Solutions and Services UK. The appointment of Kayser suggests rather closer control of the UK operation within Siemens."

Elsewhere Motorola's senior management has come in for harsh criticism. In an open letter to Motorola's former CMO and now CEO Greg Brown, a former advisor accused the recently departed CEO, Ed Zander, of "setting the company up for massive failure by neglecting to allocate sufficient resource to consumer device development.'

The letter was apparently written by Numair Faraz, a former personal adviser to the late Geoffrey Frost, the Motorola CMO who died in 2005. It is posted on the Gizmodo web site.

The letter says, "Ed Zander, had little interest in this [beefing up its software expertise and focusing on creating socially networked devices after the huge success of RAZR phones], and instead proceeded to prop up Motorola's stock price by parlaying his friendship with Steve Jobs into the ill-fated ROKR effort"&brkbar; I've always considered it Motorola's dirty little secret that their entire profit machine and strategy was run by their CMO "” not the rest of the company's executives, who are as inept as they have ever been."

The letter says of Greg Brown that he had, "zero expertise in consumer devices," and being "really no different from the rest of the incompetent senior executives at Motorola" who are "killing the company".

Motorola posted a €245 million (US$388 million) loss for the handset business last quarter, as well as ceding its position as the world's second largest manufacturer of mobile handsets to Samsung. Motorola's market share has plummeted to 13% from the 22% it had six months ago: the next generation of RAZR's was seen as too little, way too late by consumers.

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