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《考研英语阅读理解100篇 高分版》 Unit 14 - TEXT FOUR

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2019年02月12日

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Peter L?scher, the first outsider to become chief executive of Siemens, one of the world's biggest electrical engineering firms, spent his first three months at the firm travelling and listening. Then on October 4th he announced plans to centralise the conglomerate, reduce its nine divisions to three and downsize its 11-man executive board, which would truncate the power of the company's regional bosses. On the same day Siemens accepted a €210m ($285m) fine imposed by a court in Munich for bribery by its communications division, forgoing the right to appeal.
The coincidence could mark a turning point in attempts to change the firm's culture and put past scandals behind it. Last November police raided Siemens's offices, starting a scourge on bribery which so far has cost the company its chairman, its chief executive, another board member and its chief compliance officer, as well as at least €239m in fines and €179m in tax liabilities (the bribes had been deducted). What is more, in the nine months to June 30th alone, the bill for legal expenses and external advice came to €188m.
The affair has cost a great deal of management time, too. Debevoise & Plimpton, an American law firm, and forensic auditors from Deloitte are still scouring the company for evidence of more irregularities. In America the Department of Justice has two investigations running, and the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) is also examining claims of corruption. Legal proceedings in America alone could cost Siemens billions of dollars, say analysts, although Siemens argues in its most recent quarterly filing with the SEC that its “consolidated financial position should not be materially affected” by the welter of litigation.
Analysts are confident that Siemens will not only survive but benefit from all the upheaval. “Comparable American companies have gone through this, so have Alstom in France and ABB in Sweden, and they have emerged stronger and better run,” says James Stettler of Dresdner Kleinwort, an investment bank.
The three divisions Mr. L?scher has unveiled are energy products (such as power turbines and transmission equipment), infrastructure (such as factories and trains) and health care (such as MRI scanners and other clever medical kit). That does not necessarily mean Mr. L?scher will sell the businesses that do not fit, such as Osram, a maker of light bulbs, BSH, a joint venture with Bosch in household appliances, and Nokia Siemens Networks, recently formed to build telecom infrastructure.
The company's supervisory board will vet the changes on November 28th. Mr. L?scher may have most difficulty winning approval for those that will affect workers in Germany, whose representatives make up half the membership of the 20-strong supervisory board. If he gets his way, however, Mr. L?scher's next proposal may be to register Siemens as a Societas Europaea (SE) instead of as a German joint-stock company (AG). That would entail a slimmer supervisory board with reduced representation for German workers, but would give a voice to employees abroad. Other icons of German business, most notably Siemens's Munich neighbour, Allianz, a big insurer, have already made the switch. Mr. L?scher is chummy with Paul Achleitner, a member of Allianz's board and a fellow Austrian, with whom he recently stayed for three months.
1. The word “forgoing” (Line 5, Paragraph 1) most probably means _____.
[A] refusing
[B] reserving
[C] withdrawing
[D] considering
2. What Mr. L?scher will probably do to the three divisions he has unveiled?
[A] He will transfer them to other companies.
[B] He will downsize the executive board of the three divisions.
[C] He will recombine them into large division.
[D] It is not mentioned in the passage.
3. Mr. L?scher wants to register Siemens as an SE instead of an AG because _____.
[A] he aims to cut the number of German representatives in the supervisory board
[B] he seeks to centralize the conglomerate
[C] he wants to include multiple voices of the employees so as to enhance the democracy of the decision-making
[D] he strives to transform the company into a more international one
4. Towards the future of Siemens, the author's attitude can be said to be _____.
[A] optimistic
[B] pessimistic
[C] neutral
[D] unclear
5. By the close relationship between Mr. L?scher and Paul Achleitner, the author wants to imply that _____.
[A] Siemens will gain great support from Allianz
[B] Mr. L?scher made the decision to have a change under the influence of his friend
[C] Mr. L?scher wanted switch Siemens into an insurer in the future
[D] Mr. L?scher greatly valued his friend's sugges-tion

1. The word “forgoing” (Line 5, Paragraph 1) most probably means _____.
[A] refusing
[B] reserving
[C] withdrawing
[D] considering
1. forgoing这个词(第一段第五行)最有可能的意思是 _____。
[A] 拒绝
[B] 保留
[C] 撤销
[D] 考虑
答案:C 难度系数:☆☆☆
分析:猜词题。根据上下文,西门子已经接受了罚金,而从文章其余部分来看,它也比较积极地处理了这些法律纠纷。因此,最有可能的就是它放弃了申诉的权利。所以,答案为C。
2. What Mr. L?scher will probably do to the three divisions he has unveiled?
[A] He will transfer them to other companies.
[B] He will downsize the executive board of the three divisions.
[C] He will recombine them into large division.
[D] It is not mentioned in the passage.
2. L?scher先生对于自己公布的三个部门将会采取什么措施?
[A] 他将会把三个部门转让给其他公司。
[B] 他将缩小三个部门的执行董事会。
[C] 他将把它们合并为一个大部门。
[D] 文章中没有提及。
答案:D 难度系数:☆☆☆
分析:细节题。关于对三个部门的处置,在第五段中提到,并不一定会出售那些不适合的企业,而根据第一段,这三个部门肯定是要裁减掉的,但是具体以哪种方式来操作文章中并未提及,因此,答案为D。
3. Mr. L?scher wants to register Siemens as an SE instead of an AG because _____.
[A] he aims to cut the number of German representatives in the supervisory board
[B] he seeks to centralize the conglomerate
[C] he wants to include multiple voices of the employees so as to enhance the democracy of the decision-making
[D] he strives to transform the company into a more international one
3. L?scher先生想要把西门子公司注册为SE而不是德国合资公司,是因为 _____。
[A] 他的目的在于减少德国籍代表在监管委员会中的席位
[B] 他希望将集中控制西门子公司
[C] 他希望能够听到雇员不同的声音,以便加强决策的民主化
[D] 他努力想把公司变得更加国际化
答案:B 难度系数:☆☆☆☆
分析:推理题。最后一段提到,他想改变公司性质,这样就需要更为精简的监管委员会,德国工人的代表减少了,这与第一段他提到的权力集中化是一致的。因此,其目的还是要集中控制西门子,所以选项B是正确答案。选项A只是他的一个做法,但不是最终目的。选项C和D只是其集中控制的一些步骤,并不是终极目的,因此也都不是正确选项。
4. Towards the future of Siemens, the author's attitude can be said to be _____.
[A] optimistic
[B] pessimistic
[C] neutral
[D] unclear
4. 对于西门子的未来,作者的态度可以说是 _____。
[A] 乐观的
[B] 悲观的
[C] 中立的
[D] 不清楚的
答案:C 难度系数:☆
分析:态度题。从全文来看,作者比较客观地描述了目前西门子的状况,但对于未来并没有具体的态度表述。因此,答案为C。
5. By the close relationship between Mr. L?scher and Paul Achleitner, the author wants to imply that _____.
[A] Siemens will gain great support from Allianz
[B] Mr. L?scher made the decision to have a change under the influence of his friend
[C] Mr. L?scher wanted switch Siemens into an insurer in the future
[D] Mr. L?scher greatly valued his friend's suggestion
5. 作者提到L?scher先生和Paul Achleitner关系密切,是为了说明 _____。
[A] 西门子将从Allianz那里获得很大的支持
[B] L?scher先生是受到朋友的影响才决定要改革的
[C] L?scher先生想在未来把西门子转变为一个保险公司
[D] L?scher先生非常重视朋友的建议
答案:B 难度系数:☆☆☆
分析:推理题。文章最后提到了Allianz已经进行了这样的改革,而L?scher和该公司管理委员会成员的关系好,而且最近一直在一起,那么可以推断,L?scher做出的一些改革决定可能就是受到他的影响。因此,选项B最为符合题意。

Peter L?scher是世界最大的电器公司之一——西门子的首席执行官中第一位行外人,他上任的前三个月就是在公司内巡视、倾听。10月4日,他宣布计划集中控制公司,将九个部门缩减为三个,并缩小11人的执行委员会,这也将减少公司各地经理的权利。同一天,西门子接受了慕尼黑一家法庭的2.1亿欧元(合2.85亿美元)的罚金,原因是其通信部门行贿受贿。目前西门子已经放弃了上诉的权利。
这种巧合是公司改变企业文化和抛弃过往丑闻的转折点。去年11月,警察突然搜查了西门子的办公室,开始了一场关于行贿受贿审查的责难,到目前为止已导致该公司的主席、首席执行官、董事会另一个成员和其首席监察官被罢免,罚金最少有2.39亿欧元,还有1.79亿欧元的税收债务(贿赂金已经扣除)。除此之外,截至6月30日的九个月内,法律费用和行外通知的账单已经达到1.88亿欧元。
该事件也耗费了大量的管理时间。一家美国法律公司Debevoise & Plimpton和来自Deloitte的法院审计员还在继续审查公司,试图找出更多不规范的证据。在美国,司法部进行两项调查,安全与证券委员会也在调查腐败事件。分析家称,仅在美国的法律诉讼就要耗费西门子几十亿美元,虽然最近与安全与证券委员会进行的季度档案整理中,西门子认为其“巩固的金融地位不应当因为不断的诉讼而受到实质性影响”。
分析家断言,西门子不仅会安然度过困境,而且还会从这次剧变中受益。“美国与之相似的公司已经经历过这些了,法国的Alstom和瑞典的ABB也都经历过,之后它们都变得更为强大,运营也更加成功。”投资银行Dresdner Kleinwort的James Stettler这样说。
L?scher先生公布的缩减后的三个部门是能源产品部门(如电力涡轮和传导设备)、基础设施部门(如工厂和火车)以及卫生保健部门(如MRI扫描仪和其他智能医疗用具)。但这并不代表L?scher先生会将不适合的企业卖掉,如灯泡制造商欧思朗以及和博世合资的家用电器公司BSH、诺基亚西门子网络(最近为建立电信基础设施而成立的)等。
公司的监督管理委员会将于11月28日审查这些改革计划。L?scher先生面临的最大困难在于要获得改革计划的批准,而改革计划将影响德国工人,这些工人的代表占到20个监督管理委员会成员的一半。但是如果解决了这个问题,L?scher先生的下一个议题可能就是将西门子注册为Societas Europaea,而不是德国合资公司。这就需要更为精简的监督管理委员会,减少德国工人的代表,而给海外员工更多的发言机会。德国企业的其他代表,其中最为有名的就是西门子在慕尼黑的邻居大保险公司Allianz,已经开始进行这些改变。L?scher和Allianz管理委员会的成员Paul Achleitner关系甚好,此人为奥地利人,L?scher最近与他一起待了三个月。
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