Shock departure of British Steel's chief executive Peter Bernscher

By Scunthorpe Telegraph | Posted: 22 Dec 2017

THE chief executive of British Steel, Peter Bernscher, has resigned from his role at the helm of the Scunthorpe-giant, with "differences in perspective and direction," cited for the split.

An Austrian national, he brought 30 years of industry experience to the position, and only took up the job in May after a thorough recruitment process.

A British Steel spokesperson said: “Peter Bernscher has resigned from his position as British Steel CEO due to differences in perspective and direction. Peter has stepped down from the board with immediate effect and will leave the company on 31 December 2017.

“We thank Peter for his contribution this financial year.

“In the interim our chairman, Roland Junck ,will resume the role of executive chairman.”

Mr Junck guided the business back to profit in the first year under Greybull, following the buy-out for a nominal £1 from Tata Steel. He had been due to relinquish the hands-on ‘executive’ element after an extensive handover period, which had been set to expire at the year end. 

Prior to Mr Bernscher’s arrival in the UK, he had held numerous board and director positions with global leading technology and capital goods group Voestalpine in his home country, and across Europe. 

His immediate role prior was as executive board member of the company’s Metal Forming Division.

On joining he told how he was impressed with the turnaround of the business, and the brand. 

The decision comes a month ahead of anticipated second year results for the new entity.

Last January British Steel revealed it was back in the black, with Mr Junck eyeing up a £200 million swing in fortunes in the near term, as he aimed to turn a £80 million loss prior to the take-over into a £120 million profit. 

A total of £39 million of capital investments were also made. 

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