strategy and business

The catalytic co-investor: How Siemens US keeps R&D alive

Siemens has been in the industrial technology business since it was founded as a telegraph company in Berlin in 1847. Its U.S. businesses began soon afterward, and evolved over years of cross-Atlantic collaboration into a US$90 billion industrial conglomerate, incorporated in its current form in 1970. Siemens US continues to distinguish itself as a technological leader. Linked closely to Siemens’s global role in defining and developing Industry 4.0, Siemens US is a source and incubator of innovations in artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning software, cyber-security, and 3D printing.

How does a large-scale industrial manufacturing enterprise, with subsidiaries all over the world, continue to grow through R&D? To find out, strategy+business sat down with Barbara Humpton, CEO of Siemens US, on the sidelines of the company’s recent ConneCTs conference in Princeton, N.J. Humpton is the third female CEO of this enterprise head-quarteredin Washington, DC. She took the helm in April 2018, at a time when the number of women in CEO roles at large companies was actually dropping.

In this interview, Humpton discusses the role of innovation in keeping a long-established company vibrant, changes in workforce dynamics and business strategy, and how the company’s R&D strategy will help Siemens navigate the disruptions of the next decade.

How do you attract highly skilled, future-oriented people to a company that got

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