Siemens is to cut the jobs of 15,000 people over the next year.
A third of those are in its industrial, energy and infrastructure businesses in Germany.
It is part of a six billion euro cost cutting programme at Europe’s biggest engineering firm.
Siemens is anxious to close the gap with more profitable rivals such as US-based General Electric and Switzerland’s ABB.
The company said it has reached agreement with its unions over about half of the job cuts and does not intend to make enforced redundancies, relying on attrition and voluntary severance deals.
Siemens said the announcement now was because it wanted to end speculation in the market about the number of jobs that it was planning to cut.