Siemens Chief Executive Peter Loescher is to leave the company, four years before the end of his contract, after the German engineering group this week issued its second profit warning this year.

Siemens said in a statement late on Saturday (July 27) that at a meeting on July 31, the supervisory board would pass the decision on Loescher's early departure.

Two people familiar with the matter earlier said that the majority of Siemens' 20-member supervisory board favoured finance chief Joe Kaeser as replacement for Loescher. The company declined to comment.

When Loescher became CEO six years ago as the first company outsider to take the helm at Siemens, he was presented as a hero who would lead Siemens out of a massive bribery scandal that had tarnished its image and its finances.

But after tackling that task, Loescher started losing credibility as he repeatedly misjudged demand development in its main markets.

A bellwether of Germany's economy whose products range from gas turbines to fast trains and hearing aids, Siemens is suffering from the stuttering global demand that saw German exports fall the most since late 2009 in May.

In addition, Siemens' earnings have been hit repeatedly by one-time charges related to project delays and other issues.

Loescher was forced to put on the back-burner a strategy to increase annual sales by about a third to 100 billion euros last year, announcing instead a plan to save 6 billion euros over two years to compete with rivals such as General Electric.

Presented by Adam Justice