ThyssenKrupp chief Hiesinger quits

Vidya Ram | Updated on July 06, 2018

Bidding adieu Heinrich Hiesinger, CEO of ThyssenKrupp   -  Reuters

Less than a week after defending the deal to merge European steel assets with Tata Steel, ThyssenKrupp CEO Heinrich Hiesinger is to step down from his position after the company’s supervisory board accepted his resignation.

The company will be led by the board until a suitable successor can be found, the company said on Friday. ”In this tough situation for the company, it is now initially about staying the course,” said Chairman of the Supervisory board Ulrich Lehrer.

Hiesinger has led ThyssenKrupp – a large German industrial conglomerate — over the past seven years, attempting to reshape its focus, away from steel, to which the merger with Tata Steel was seen as key. However, in recent week’s management’s unwillingness to push for more favourable terms because of recent tough quarters for Tata Steel’s European assets brought them criticism from leading activist shareholders.

Hiesinger defended the terms – which included an agreement that in the event of an IPO 55 per cent of the proceeds would go to ThyssenKrupp, which alone would be determine if and when the process could commence. Tata Steel had also insisted the deal was structured as best it could – acknowledging changing circumstances while not changing the fundamental philosophy of the deal.

“Our point of view was that you can’t let two quarters decide the valuation of a company,” said TV Narendran, Managing Director, Tata Steel, told this paper.

“I take this step very consciously to enable a fundamental discussion in the Supervisor Board on the future of ThyssenKrupp,” said Hiesinger on Thursday as he asked for his resignation to be accepted.

Published on July 06, 2018

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