Köhler replaces Hartmann as Saarland mills’ chief

SBQ maker Saarstahl and plate mill Dillinger Hütte are reshuffling top management. The chief executive of both companies and of their joint holding, SHS Stahl Holding Saar, Tim Hartmann, has stepped down from his position “…by mutual agreement,” SHS says.

He will be succeeded by Karl-Ulrich Köhler, who has previously been ceo of thyssenkrupp Steel, Tata Steel Europe, and most recently of steel processor company Rittal.

At a conference call on Friday morning, SHS supervisory board chairman Reinhard Störmer explained that the board and Hartmann took different views on the company’s future strategy. He noted the sides disagreed on the pace of the changes the company is undergoing. Upon inquiry, he noted that critical issues like CO2 reduction, partnerships and new markets had not worked out the way the board had expected.

“After two bad years we cannot face a third bad year, and we expect an acceleration of pace in the transition from Mr Köhler,” Kallanish heard Störmer say during the call.

One of the markets Saarstahl has entered in recent years is rail. Dillinger, which has been a major player in plate for oil & gas pipemaking, expects to play a role in renewable energy, Köhler said. This would be the case in transportation of hydrogen and towers for wind power plants, where Dillinger claims to be a world market leader.

Asked whether Dillinger is interested in bidding for the plate mill that has been put out to tender by thyssenkrupp, Köhler remained vague. In the remaining time of the tender until 31 December, “…everyone can reconsider their argumentation,” he said.