British steel’s CEO Ron Deelen will step down by the end of March and Xijun Cao, president British Steel, will assume the additional role of chief executive from April, according to a company release on Wednesday. The change in leadership comes after the first anniversary of Jingye’s acquisition of the steelmaker last week.
Ron become acting CEO in 2019 during the company’s liquidation process and was appointed permanent CEO after the Chinese takeover. During his tenure, the company focused on the turnaround plan.
British steel managed to return to profits and plans to invest £100mn this year for the next phase of transformation which includes the addition of a billet caster, scrap pre-heating facility and emission control system. The privately-owned Chinese steel producer Jingye has assured investments of over a £1bn in British steel for plant upgrades in the span of the next 10 years. The company has 3mn mt
Most UK’s steel producers require technical upgrades to stay competitive against global steelmakers. Steel demand in the country is gradually recovering from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on auto and other manufacturing sectors and the finances of steel producers are stretched.
With the collapse of Greensill Capital, a key financier for Sanjeev-Gupta led Liberty group, which operates 11 steel plants in the country, the steel industry in the UK is struggling with financial difficulties and debt. Liberty steel UK has 3mn mt annual steel rolling capacity.