Ex-Thyssenkrupp CEO Kerkhoff to head steel distributor Kloeckner

Ex-Thyssenkrupp CEO Guido Kerkhoff will become head of German steel distributor Kloeckner in 2021, Kloeckner said July 6.

Kerkhoff will replace current CEO Gisbert Ruehl who will take over the position of Chairman of Kloeckner’s digital platforms segment, which is planned to become a separate company. Ruehl held the position as CEO since 2009.

Kerkhoff has also been selected to Kloeckner’s management board effective September 1.

Kerkhoff left Thyssenkrupp in September 2019, following a “mutual” termination of his mandate after roughly a year on the job as the German engineering-based conglomerate faced pressure to accelerate its turnaround after the collapse of the merger between Thyssenkrupp Steel and Tata Steel Europe.

Ties between Ruehl and Kerkhoff were reported to be close. German media said 2019 that Kloeckner was eyeing Thyssenkrupp’s distribution unit Materials Services following market chatter that Ruehl and Kerkhoff met regularly.

Claims of a link-up were however dismissed by Thyssenkrupp at the time.

Kloeckner said in the past that they were interested in growing buy acquisition, while Thyssenkrupp hinted on the possibility of finding a partner for the Materials unit.

— Laura Varriale