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Siemens CEO deplores admiration for "pot smoker" after his deputy praised Tesla

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By Reuters
Siemens CEO deplores admiration for "pot smoker" after his deputy praised Tesla
FILE PHOTO: Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser looks on before visit of German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the company's plant in Goerlitz, Germany, July 15, 2019. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke/File Photo   -   Copyright  Hannibal Hanschke(Reuters)

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Siemens <SIEGn.DE> 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 own deputy praised Tesla’s 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’s children’s story about travelling in space.

Siemens declined to comment on the tweet which comes only days after Siemens Deputy Chief Executive Roland Busch, a German, described Tesla’s <TSLA.O> Musk as a “visionary.”

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 become deputy CEO, putting him in pole position to replace Kaeser as head of the German engineering giant.

On Oct. 31, Busch tweeted, “Great to meet w/ elonmusk, a true visionary of our times. Talked about #FutureofMobility, rapid deployment of car charging enabling #electric mobility, advanced manufacturing &amp; rocket engineering. We’re proud Siemens’ #technology is supporting Elon’s most exciting dreams.”

Busch at the company’s annual press conference this week explained that Elon Musk’s electric car maker Tesla and SpaceX, which makes rockets, are big customers for Siemens’ digital industries businesses.

(Reporting by Edward Taylor, Sabine Wollrab and John Revill, editing by Louise Heavens)