Countdown for Siemens Gamesa: six years of power struggle, 20 dismissals of key positions and the last SOS to the Government

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Siemens Gamesa faces its countdown before a new restructuring, perhaps the definitive one. The world’s third largest manufacturer of wind turbines and the spearhead of this industry in Spain is experiencing a dramatic contrast. On the one hand, the European commitment to the energy transition places the company in a sector that is the subject of multi-million dollar investments.

On the other hand, the workers of the nine Spanish factories that are still under the umbrella of the wind giant (eight of them for sale) are holding their breath after last week Jochen EickholtCEO of Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, internally admitted to the unions that the company had given up contracts for 1 billion euros and what he anticipated close the year with 4.5 billion losses, according to sources from social agents. The announcement disconcerted the market more than it did a squad that has been suffering a power war between Berlin and Vizcaya for six years. The first one won the match a long time ago.

The Basque Gamesa debuted on the stock market in 2000, almost 24 years after it began its journey. A year later she made a place for herself on the Ibex 35. Since her jump into the market and until 2016, just before the arrival of the German giant Siemens, she obtained profits every year, with the exception of 2012, when she closed with 659 million euros of losses before the only restructuring that the firm had carried out until then.

It was in 2017 when the boda between Siemens and Gamesa, through a merger by absorption by which the Spanish company was integrated into the German company’s renewable subsidiary and adopted the name Siemens Gamesa. The operation was sealed with the approval of Iberdrola, then Gamesa’s leading shareholder. The capital of the resulting company was distributed 59% to the German group and 8% to Iberdrola. The company closed the year with a profit of 118 million.

The merger was turbulent from the beginning. Soon the trickle of dismissals of managers who had occupied key positions at the former Gamesa began. To date, union sources estimate more than twenty key profiles that left the national division in a framework of continuous tensions between the German and Spanish leadership. Names like those of Xabier Etxeberríathen CEO, or Ignacio Artazcozchief financial officer, made headlines at the time of his departure, in 2017, when the merged company suffered its first stock market crash.

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