How working with Disney helped Siemens succeed the American way

Stephen Whiteside

Siemens' history in America predates the Civil War to 1854, when Siemens & Halske (the organisation's direct predecessor) was asked to provide a railway telegraph to Philadelphia.

Modern-day Siemens boasts over 130 manufacturing sites throughout the country and employs 60,000-plus people spread across 50 states. It also helps meet a third of the domestic market's energy demands, is North America's leading source of light-rail vehicles – thus enabling busy commuters go about their day – and has supplied technology to landmarks from the Statue of Liberty and Carnegie Hall in New York to the National Mall in Washington, DC.

Despite such a venerable heritage and a contemporary presence many indigenous firms might envy, the Munich-based corporation's European origins remained a hurdle. "We were still known as a German company because that's where the roots were at," Darren Sparks, Siemens USA's director/strategic marketing alliances, said at IEG's 2014 Sponsorship Conference.

Darren Sparks of Siemens