... while von Pierer says he plans to stay awhile

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Siemens AG Chief Executive Heinrich von Pierer emphasized that he plans to stay with the company beyond the end of his current contract, which expires in September 2004.

 von Pierer told reporters at a Nov. 13 news conference that if anyone "speculated that I will still be with the company beyond 2004, then you would hit the bull's eye." He declined, however, to say exactly what his role or position may be after the contract ends.

 Speculation is that Siemens eventually will tap Klaus Kleinfeld as von Pierer's successor.