Tata Steel Europe CEO Karl Koehler quits; CTO Hans Fischer to succeed
Koehler, who was appointed as CEO and Managing Director of Tata Steel Europe in October 1, 2010, will also step down as the member of the Tata Steel's Board of Directors.
London: In an unexpected move, Tata Steel today said Karl Koehler, the CEO of its embattled overseas arm Tata Steel Europe, has resigned and the firm has appointed Chief Technical Officer Hans Fischer as its new chief.
Kohler, who took over as Tata Steel Europe's CEO and Managing Director in October 2010, has resigned from the post, effective February 29, 2016, Tata Steel Europe said in a statement.
Fischer will assume the charge of Tata Steel Europe's CEO from March 1, 2016. A former CEO of German engineering giant ThyssenKrupp's Steel Americas, Fischer joined the firm as Chief Technical Officer in July 2012.
Tata Steel board said "Karl Koehler has decided to step down as a director of Tata Steel Ltd and as CEO and Managing Director of Tata Steel Europe so he can take up a senior leadership position with a large privately-owned industrial company in Germany.
He will remain available to Tata Steel for a short period in an advisory capacity, the firm added.
Koehler, a former member of the executive committee of industry body World Steel Association, was Vice Chairman of VDEh, the German Iron and Steel Institute.
During his over 30-year career in steel industry, he has worked as a member of the Executive Board of ThyssenKrupp AG and has also been President of Eurofer or European steelmaking federation.
The development comes at a time when Tata Steel announced last month that it will cut 1,050 jobs in the UK, including the country's biggest steel plant, as part of its broader cost-reduction plan amid "unfair" steel imports from China.
The restructuring and "cost-saving" proposal comes over and above the October 2015 lay-off of 1,200 roles employed by Britain's biggest steelmaker, that also appealed to the EU to take urgent action to check the imports in the country for a level-playing field.
Tata Steel group ED Koushik Chatterjee will be Tata Steel's Executive Director for Europe in addition to his current responsibilities.
"With effect from March 1, 2016, Fischer, currently CTO of Tata Steel Europe, will be appointed CEO and will join the Board of Tata Steel Europe," it added.
He will be responsible for the operational and business performance of Tata Steel Europe and will report to the Board of Tata Steel Europe and will seek advice and guidance from Koushik Chatterjee.
Koehler said: "The last six years have been a challenging journey of change for Tata Steel in Europe as it dealt with unprecedented market conditions. Focus on efficiency gains, meanwhile, has been key to creating a better foundation for the company."
Fischer said: "We understand making our customers more successful is crucial to our long-term sustainable success while we continue to improve our efficiency in supplying higher-value products to our customers."