These were called "clusters" and they were introduced by former chief executive Peter Loescher in 2008. Now Kaeser wants to return to a flatter hierarchy and make it easier for lesser mortals to take quick decisions. Kaeser has to find a way to whip the sleepy lumbering conglomerate into shape.
Under his new glorious plan managers in countries that are most important to Siemens in terms of business volume and growth prospects will report directly to the executive board members responsible for Siemens' four main businesses. This is 85 per cent of them.
Kaeser said he would announce concrete plans for the reorganisation in the European spring of 2014, although he did not say which executives would end up in concrete or under which motorway bridge they would be placed. Kaeser has vowed to put Siemens back on an "even keel" and end years of continual restructuring.