The former CEO of Siemens, itself embroiled in a corruption scandal, said he will not resign as chairman of the company's supervisory board, despite a growing chorus for more accountability at one of Germany's biggest conglomerates, an Associated Press report said.
The Associated Press report, quoting in an interview with the newspaper Welt am Sonntag, said Heinrich von Pierer, who was CEO of the Munich-based company from 1993-2005 before handing over the reins to Klaus Kleinfeld, maintained he would not be leaving the board.
'I will not step down. There is no question of it because I have done nothing wrong,' he told the newspaper in a lengthy interview.
Siemens, which makes everything from cell phone network components to trains and is Europe's biggest engineering company by sales, has been rocked by investigations in Germany, Italy and Switzerland over money taken from corporate accounts and allegedly used to pay bribes to help land telecommunications deals, the Associated Press report said.
So far, six people have been arrested, including Thomas Ganswindt, the former head of Siemens' telecommucations equipment unit who left the company in September to become CEO of Luxembourg-based Elster Group, the report said.Siemens has launched its own internal investigation, hiring an outside law firm, New York-based Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, to assist its auditors, KPMG, to examine the estimated 420 million euros ($550.45 million) in payments made to various consultants since 1999.