Joe Kaeser was born in Arnbruck, in the Bavarian Forest in Germany, on June 23, 1957. He spent his early life in education throughout Germany. Following his studies in business administration at the Regensburg University of Applied Sciences, he joined the Components Group of Siemens in 1980.
Kaeser subsequently held various business administration management positions, including a term at the Siemens Components Operations in Malacca, Malaysia (1987–1988). In 1990 he was appointed Vice President of business administration of the Opto Semiconductors Division. In 1994 Kaeser served first as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, and later as CEO of the Group’s American subsidiary Siemens Components, located in Cupertino, California, as well as at Siemens Microelectronics, in neighboring San Jose.
In 1999 Kaeser joined Corporate Finance where he was responsible for developing a Company-wide performance controlling system. During this time he also shared oversight for preparing the company’s stock market listing in New York and the worldwide conversion of its accounting system to US GAAP.
From April 2001 to September 2004 Kaeser was a member of the Group Executive Committee of IC Mobile and served as its Chief Financial Officer, where he was especially active in managing and restructuring its finance exposure from customer loans and working Capital management.
In his former function as Chief Strategy Officer, Kaeser supported CEO Dr. Klaus Kleinfeld in the design and execution of the Fit4More transformation program, as well as the long-term orientation of the company’s strategies on global megatrends.
In July 2013 it was announced that Kaeser will replace Peter Löscher as the CEO of the Siemens AG.
Russian visit during Crimean Crisis
Kaeser traveled to Russia to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in April, 2014 to re-affirm Siemens' commitment to Russian profits despite widespread international condemnation of Russian military intervention. The move was widely criticized in the Western World, including by German Chancellor Angela Merkel. However Kaeser wasn't the only one who had a more pro Russian mood at that time, many other prominent Germans like former chancellors Helmut Schmidt and Gehard Schroeder voiced their concern for more understanding about Russias views, including in Merkel's own party like Peter Gauweiler or Armin Laschet who all faced criticism by the German Press as well. Later US Panel debates visited by former US Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski revealed that the former World Bank Chief Robert Zoellick aggressively pressured Kaeser due to his Russia visit. Zoellick reminding Kaeser that his company has a bigger Business in the United States than in Russia and it would have consequences if he keeps following this path.
- "Joe Kaeser". EuropeanCEO.com. 9 January 2014. Retrieved 9 January 2014.
- "Siemens CEO Rebuked as German Business Defends Putin Partnership". Bloomburg.com. 30 March 2014. Retrieved 26 April 2014.
- Video on YouTube