Thyssenkrupp Appoints Premal Desai As CEO Of Its Europe Steel Business
Germany’s ThyssenKrupp AG on Friday announced the appointment of Premal Desai as the new chief executive officer for its steel business to oversee the restructuring of the vertical, following the collapse of a proposed joint venture with India’s Tata Steel Ltd. in Europe.
Andreas Goss will resign from his position as CEO of Thyssenkrupp Steel Europe AG by "mutual agreement" in view of the failed Tata Steel-Thyssenkrupp merger.
Desai, who has been chief financial officer of Thyssenkrupp Steel Europe AG since 2015, will also take charge as the chairman of the executive Board of the company.
As a former Head of Strategy at ThyssenKrupp AG, Desai will now be in charge of formulating a “sustainable strategy” for the steel business.
“Shaping the future of steel is a challenging task. There's a lot to do,” said Desai. “We look forward to tackling this together as a management team. The market is not easy, but we are in a strong position and have a lot of potential. We'll build on that,” he said.
Further down the line, Desai is also set to take over the strategy and planning function as well as the financial function and will lead the management board of ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe AG.
Thyssenkrupp Steel Europe and Tata Steel Europe had signed agreements on June 30, 2018, to create a 50:50 joint venture. However, the European Commission blocked the merger saying it would have reduced the number of suppliers and increased prices for steel in Europe.
The two companies had in May announced they were scrapping the plan.
“Our steel business is facing major challenges. We have now put together a strong team that will tackle the tasks at hand quickly and develop a sustainable strategy for steel following the cancellation of the joint venture,” said Guido Kerkhoff, CEO of ThyssenKrupp AG.
Steel producers in Europe have been hit by falling demand in the past few months, with both Thyssenkrupp and Tata Steel indicating shifts in strategy for their European operations. Their joint venture would have created the second-largest European steel company behind Lakshmi Mittal's Luxemburg-based ArcelorMittal SA.