BERLIN, Oct 12 (Reuters) - Siemens’ head of high-speed and regional trains, Juergen Wilder, will leave the industrial group at the end of the year to take over Deutsche Bahn’s struggling rail freight arm, people familiar with the matter told Reuters on Monday.
Wilder became head of the Siemens business in 2013 and started to turn around the business after supplies of high-speed ICE trains to Deutsche Bahn were delayed for years, causing hundreds of millions of euros in project charges.
Siemens Mobility, the division that includes trains, reported a 9 percent drop in revenue and a 28 percent drop in profit in the quarter to end-June, which Siemens blamed on the timing of large rail projects.
The global rail sector is consolidating and Siemens has been reported to be considering merging its rail assets with those of French Alstom or Canada’s Bombardier, although the company says it can stand alone.
Deutsche Bahn’s loss-making freight unit, DB Schenker Rail, is restructuring to combat fierce competition from direct rivals and other forms of transportation that have profited from lower fuel prices.
It has also been hit by a series of strikes by drivers.
Siemens and Deutsche Bahn declined to comment. (Reporting by Markus Wacket; Additional reporting by Jens Hack; Writing by Georgina Prodhan; Editing by Louise Heavens)