FRANKFURT – Reuters Deputy praised Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
FILE PHOTO: Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser looks ahead to visit by German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the company's factory in Goerlitz, Germany, July 1[ads1]5, 2019. REUTERS / Hannibal Hanschke / File Photo
“funny opinions in our country: When a German top manager proactively orientes his company towards the future, he is seen as & # 39; high & # 39; and & # 39; philosophical & # 39 ;. When a colleague who smokes pot in the United States talks about Peterchen's moon trip, he is an admired visionary, ”Kaeser tweeted, referring to a German child's history of space travel.
Siemens declined to comment on the tweet, which came days after Siemens Vice President Roland Busch, who is German, described Tesla's ( TSLA.O ) Musk as a "visionary."
Kaeser's statement sparked a lively debate on social media, while Siemens CEO later tried to clarify his comments.
In an exchange with a journalist from a daily business, Kaeser said in a tweet on Saturday that there was no need for wild speculation and attempts to refer to Busch's comment about Musk.
"This is NOT at all about Mr. Busch and / or Mr. Musk," Kaeser said, adding that his goal was rather to draw attention to entrepreneurial spirit in Germany and the declining relevance of German companies.
Musk provoked a Twitter storm last year after briefly smoking marijuana on a live web show with comedian Joe Rogan.
In September, Siemens promoted Busch to the Deputy Managing Director, putting him in a pole position to replace Kaeser as head of the German engineering giant.
31. October, Busch tweeted, “Great to meet w / @elonmusk, a true visionary of our time. Talked about #FutureofMobility, fast car charging distribution enabling #electric mobility, advanced production and rocket technology. We are proud of @Siemens #technology supporting Elon's most exciting dreams. ”
At the company's annual news conference this week, Busch said that Musk's electric car manufacturer Tesla and SpaceX, which make rockets, are major customers for Siemens' digital industries.
Reporting by Edward Taylor and Michael Nienaber; Editing by Louise Heavens and Helen Popper