Thyssenkrupp shares are lower Friday as the German-based engineering firm has named its current CFO as the temporary CEO, following the surprise resignation last week of the firm’s previous CEO.
The board said it will proceed in a structured search for the next, permanent CEO for the business as it embarks on a merger with Tata Steel.
By 1135 BST, Thyssenkrupp shares were 0.57% lower at €20.78. The stock has been moving broadly lower in recent weeks amid activist investor input as the firm works to further ensure a sustainable future.
Interim Thyssenkrupp CEO named as expected
ThyssenKrupp Friday confirmed that Guido Kerkhoff, who is the group’s current CFO, would act as interim CEO for the business.
“The members of the Supervisory Board agree that ThyssenKrupp needs stability and continuity above all in order to successfully continue on the path of transformation it has embarked on. Guido Kerkhoff has the full confidence of the Supervisory Board for this,” Chairman of Thyssenkrupp’s supervisory board, Prof. Dr. Ulrich Lehner, said.
The move was widely expected and gives the board time to find the right successor to help shepherd through the planned merger of ThyssenKrupp’s steelmaking business with Tata Steel, as well as undertake further restructure plans to ensure the firm is positioned for long-term prosperity.
Thyssenkrupp has had a tough period that had been expected to end with the Tata Steel merger agreement. However, former CEO Dr. Heinrich Hiesinger resigned last week, after the then proposed merger with Tata Steel failed to receive full shareholder backing.
In addition, activist investors are campaigning for a more complete restructure of the group, including the prospect of breaking it up. However, both the company Chairman and the German state Premier where Thyssenkrupp is based, have both said that will not happen.
“We want long-term development, not short-term profits,” Armin Laschet, the conservative prime minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, said after meeting in Duesseldorf. That view is in line with the Chairman’s and also with the largest shareholder of the group.