Steel company: Thyssenkrupp boss Merz stops - López Borrego successor

Thyssenkrupp CEO Martina Merz stops prematurely.

Steel company: Thyssenkrupp boss Merz stops - López Borrego successor

Thyssenkrupp CEO Martina Merz stops prematurely. The company surprisingly announced in Essen that she had asked the Personnel Committee of the Supervisory Board to terminate her contract as soon as possible. The committee intends to comply with the request. The Personnel Committee has already proposed a successor to the Supervisory Board. Accordingly, the current interim boss of the auto supplier Norma Group, Miguel Ángel López Borrego, is to become the new CEO on June 1st.

Merz (60) has been CEO of Thyssenkrupp since October 2019. The trained mechanical engineer took over the group in a difficult situation. Her contract was extended to 2028 in May last year.

López Borrego (58) studied business administration in Mannheim and Toronto after graduating from high school in Hesse. The Spaniard, who was born in Germany, began his professional career as a controller at the car electronics manufacturer VDO. At Siemens he was CFO of various business units. From 2018 to 2022 he was head of Siemens Spain and chairman of the board of directors of Siemens-Gamesa Renewable Energy.

According to Russwurm, López Borrego is a very experienced financial expert

Thyssenkrupp Supervisory Board Chairman Siegfried Russwurm described López Borrego as an "international manager with broad industrial experience in the areas of digitization and Industry 4.0". He is also a very experienced financial expert. "With him at the helm, we will continue on the path of transformation based on the strategic lines that have been developed." This is challenging but necessary as the restructuring of ThyssenKrupp is not yet complete. For some time now, the steel and industrial group has been reorganized into a "Group of Companies", in which the individual businesses are to act more independently than before.

Russwurm, who is also President of the Federation of German Industries (BDI), praised Merz. She took on a very difficult task at a challenging time and, with a great deal of commitment and expertise, initiated a comprehensive change process at Thyssenkrupp. "Your target definition, according to which the best possible further development of the business is more important than the ownership structure, was also clearly supported by the shareholders at the Annual General Meeting in February 2023," he emphasized. We respect her decision to withdraw from the leadership now.

Merz wants to clear the way for a new phase

According to the announcement, Martina Merz said: "Key strategic decisions have been made." Promising talks have been started with possible partners for the steel division to become independent. "In the upcoming phase, financial expertise and the further improvement of performance are in the foreground. Additional commercial skills are certainly useful." In the interests of the company, she wants to pave the way for this focus.

In a letter to the employees available to the "Rheinische Post", Merz emphasized that with her withdrawal she wanted to pave the way for a new phase. "We have achieved a lot together on the way to transforming Thyssenkrupp. I am convinced that after the 'rescue operation' a new phase is beginning, in which other skills will be required on the Executive Board."

The stock exchange reacted negatively to the announcement of the change at the top of the company. Thyssenkrupp shares fell in the afternoon by more than 11 percent to below 6.50 euros, making them by far the weakest value in the MDax stock market segment.

Krupp Foundation "extremely regrets" withdrawal from Merz

Thyssenkrupp's largest shareholder, the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Foundation, with around 21 percent, regrets the announced resignation of the previous company boss Martina Merz. "We very much regret Martina Merz's decision," said the Krupp Foundation in Essen. The chairman of the board of trustees, Ursula Gather, thanked Merz "for her great entrepreneurial commitment". "I am still convinced that Thyssenkrupp can remain competitive and pay dividends in the long term with the strategic course it has taken," said Gather. Good luck to the designated successor, Miguel Ángel López Borrego. The foundation is looking forward to a "trustful exchange".