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Thyssenkrupp CEO offers to resign after activist shareholder pressure

Thyssenkrupp's board will meet on Friday to discuss Hiesinger's request to step down

Lynn Thomasson & William Wilkes | Bloomberg 

Heinrich Hiesinger, CEO of ThyssenKrupp AG. Photo: Reuters
Heinrich Hiesinger, CEO of ThyssenKrupp AG. Photo: Reuters

Thyssenkrupp AG Chief Executive Officer resigned days after the company inked a deal for a European steel joint venture that faced fierce investor opposition.

“Today I informed the Supervisory Board that I would like to step down from my position,” Hiesinger said in a statement on Thursday.

Hiesinger’s leadership at Thyssenkrupp had been marked by criticism for the company’s declining revenue, rising costs and a declining stock price. The company had also drawn shareholder criticism for its complicated structure, which runs from submarines to elevators and food packaging. Thyssenkrupp shares have lost about 30 per cent since Hiesinger took the helm in January 2011.

Elliott Management Corp had wanted to oust the chief executive for failing to guide the company through a turnaround, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg earlier this year.

ALSO READ: ThyssenKrupp restructuring to continue after Tata steel deal: CEO Hiesinger

Hiesinger departure was announced days after Thyssenkrupp and Tata Steel Ltd reached an agreement to set up a European steel giant. Some of the company’s biggest investors including had expressed concern that the deal favours its Indian partner. Hiesinger defended the deal on Monday, highlighting the cost synergies and goal of improving competitiveness.

ALSO READ: Thyssenkrupp, Tata Steel may need asset sales to get EU nod for JV

Thyssenkrupp’s board will meet on Friday to discuss Hiesinger’s request to step down.

First Published: Thu, July 05 2018. 23:18 IST