The move is part of a wider plan to save €1 billion from 2016. The company has more than 18,000 employees in the UK at 100 sites and it’s not yet clear where the bulk of the job cuts will be made.
Following the announcement, German manufacturing union IG Metall called the move a “declaration of war” against its members.
Kaeser, who was made CEO after his predecessor Peter Loescher stepped down nine months ago, appeared to backtrack on a memo sent to the company’s 360,000 staff.
He said reports in the press of definitive job losses were based on “the wrong interpretation” while insisting that no formal decisions had been made.
Kaeser also denied the news meant job losses were inevitable. “Removing jobs in one area does not necessarily have to mean job cuts,” he said.
Original reports suggested 7,600 jobs were to be lost directly across Siemens’ global workforce, with a further 4,000 being affected by a scrapping of “regional cluster analysis” teams.
Kaeser said that those doing analysis on divisional arms of the company and local economic conditions will no longer be required.