Scandal-hit Siemens now 'squeaky clean'
"We are now the most squeaky clean company," a raft of senior Siemens executives said behind closed doors at a global media summit held this week in London. It's a huge claim but they've all been through intensive compliance training and exhaustive interviews to ensure that Europe's leading technology group is no longer a byword for bribery and corruption.
If you can't trust senior Siemens executives (behind closed doors no less) attempting to fend off bribery and corruption allegations, who can you trust? That being said, what if they are right? What if they really are the most squeaky clean company on the planet right now? Anything is possible. I once worked at Cendant. Therefore, who am I to argue?
Ever since the scandal broke in late 2006 the company has been confronted with mounting evidence that officials, perhaps under the blind eye or with the covert connivance of senior managers, used bribes across the globe to win lucrative contracts. It has identified so far €1.3bn (£1bn) in slush funds and put the cost of cleaning out its Augean stables at €1.8bn.
Further, even if the squeaky clean claims are somewhat exaggerated, surely the company is at least as squeaky clean as it was a hundred years ago. Of course, that's probably not saying much come to think of it.
The Siemens Scandal (シーメンス事件, Shiimensu jiken?) of January 1914 was one of several spectacular political scandals of late Meiji and Taisho period Japanese politics. It involved collusion between several high ranking members of the Imperial Japanese Navy and the German industrial conglomerate of Siemens AG.
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