ThyssenKrupp has announced the resignation of its supervisory board chairman Gerhard Cromme, following accusations of a lack of supervision. Germany's biggest steelmaker has been hit by scandals and weak performance.
Gerhard Cromme would step down from the post as supervisory board chairman on March 31, ThyssenKrupp announced Friday.
The 70-year-old manager wanted to facilitate a fresh beginning at the company, the industrial conglomerate said in a statement, and would also resign from the post of deputy director of the Krupp Foundation, which is the firm's majority shareholder.
Gerhard Cromme started out with the company in 1986, serving as Chief Executive of what was then Krupp AG. Following a tie-up with steelmaking rival Thyssen in 2001, Cromme became chairman of the supervisory board of the merged companies.
The outgoing chairman hoped that ThyssenKrupp would emerge strengthened from the current crisis, the statement also said.
Germany's biggest steelmaker has been writing huge losses on the back of massive cost overruns in its Steel Americas' division and because of weak global steel demand. In addition, the firm was involved in a corruption scandal and was slapped a hefty fine by EU regulators for its role in a price-fixing cartel in the rail steel sector.
Calls for Cromme to step down emerged already at the company's shareholders meeting in January, where participants accused him of neglecting his duties of overseeing the management board, led by CEO Heinrich Hiesinger.
On Friday, Hiesinger said Cromme had left a strong mark on the German steel industry.
uhe/dr (dpa, AFP, Reuters)