By Edward Taylor and Christoph Steitz
FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Thyssenkrupp is likely to appoint company veteran Peter Walker to succeed Andreas Schierenbeck as the chief executive of its elevators unit, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters on Tuesday.
No official decision has been made and other candidates could still be considered for the position, the people added. Sources on Monday said that Schierenbeck would be replaced.
The likely move underscores efforts by new group CEO Guido Kerkhoff to improve performance at all of Thyssenkrupp's divisions after announcing an ambitious plan to spin off the conglomerate's capital goods businesses over the next 12-18 months.
The unit management reshuffle is the second under Kerkhoff, who has so far failed to excite markets over the spin-off plans, under which its elevator, car parts and plant engineering divisions will be separately listed as Thyssenkrupp Industrials.
Albeit the group's cash cow, Elevator Technology has underperformed rivals including Kone and, having lowered its outlook twice this year already, could disappoint when the group presents full-year results on Nov. 21.
"Schierenbeck's sacking is a clear move aimed at preempting investor pressure ahead of full-year results, where elevators might show weakness," one of the sources said, pointing to rival Kone, which cut its outlook last month.
Thyssenkrupp declined to comment. Schierenbeck and Walker could not immediately be reached for comment.
According to Refinitiv estimates, Thyssenkrupp's full-year adjusted earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) are expected to come in at 1.73 billion euros ($1.97 billion), below the group's 1.8 billion forecast.
Elevator's fourth-quarter adjusted EBIT is seen down 4.6 percent while operating margins at Thyssenkrupp's automotive business are also expected to contract to 4.5 percent this year, from 5 percent in 2017.
Just how undervalued Thyssenkrupp is as a whole is indicated by the group's current enterprise value of 15.7 billion euros, about the same as its elevator business if viewed on a standalone basis.
($1 = 0.8760 euros)
(Editing by Maria Sheahan and Keith Weir)
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)