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Thyssenkrupp appoints new CEO for challenged steel division

Thyssenkrupp appoints new CEO for challenged steel division
FILE PHOTO: A logo of Thyssenkrupp AG is pictured at the company's headquarters in Essen, Germany, November 21, 2018. REUTERS/Thilo Schmuelgen/File Photo -
Thilo Schmuelgen(Reuters)
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FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Thyssenkrupp said Premal Desai will be promoted to lead its steel division on Friday and restructure the business in the face of a slump in global demand.

The appointment of Desai, who has served as Steel Europe’s finance chief since 2015, is the latest in a string of management appointments at the car parts-to-submarines conglomerate.

His promotion comes five weeks after a planned deal to combine Thyssenkrupp’s steel division with the European unit of Indian peer Tata Steel collapsed, leading to a strategic U-turn that includes the listing of its elevator unit.

“Our steel business is facing major challenges,” Thyssenkrupp CEO Guido Kerkhoff said. “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.”

Steel producers in Europe have been hit by falling demand in the past few months. Thyssenkrupp Steel Europe’s second-quarter adjusted operating profit plunged 81 percent to 37 million euros (£32.96 million).

Thyssenkrupp said Andreas Goss will resign from his post as CEO of Steel Europe as of June 15. The group in May said that it was in talks with Goss, who has led the unit since mid-2014, to terminate his contract.

(Reporting by Christoph Steitz; Editing by Tassilo Hummel and Elaine Hardcastle)

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