FRANKFURT – Siemens chief executive Joe Kaeser on Friday lamented Germans who fail to recognise true visionaries and instead admire pot smokers who talk about space travel, only days after his deputy praised Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
“Amusing opinions in our country: When a German chief executive proactively orients his company toward the future, he is regarded as ‘lofty’ and ‘philosophical’. When a pot smoking colleague in the United States talks about Peterchen’s moon ride, he is an admired visionary,” Kaeser tweeted, referring to a German children’s story about space travel.
Siemens declined to comment on the tweet, which came days after Siemens deputy chief executive Roland Busch, who is German, described Tesla’s Musk as a “visionary.”
Kaeser’s statement sparked a lively debate on social media, with the Siemens CEO later seeking to clarify his comments.
In an exchange with a journalist from a business daily, Kaeser said in a tweet on Saturday that there was no need for wild speculation and efforts to draw references to Busch’s remark about Musk.