September 25, 2019 / 9:40 AM / 20 days ago

Top shareholder Cevian backs new Thyssenkrupp CEO Merz

FILE PHOTO: Guido Kerkhoff, CEO of steelmaker Thyssenkrupp AG and Martina Merz, designated chairwoman of the supervisory board of Thyssenkrupp, pose in front of the company logo before the annual shareholders meeting in Bochum, Germany, February 1, 2019. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay/File Photo

BERLIN (Reuters) - Swedish fund Cevian Capital, Thyssenkrupp’s (TKAG.DE) second-biggest shareholder, on Wednesday said it fully supported the appointment of Martina Merz as new chief executive of the German industrial conglomerate.

“We expect that the new leadership will speed up the transformation process that Thyssenkrupp so urgently needs, and improve the quality of implementation,” Cevian founding partner Lars Foerberg said in a statement.

Thyssenkrupp said on Tuesday it will start talks soon to end the contract of current CEO Guido Kerkhoff, whose brief tenure at the submarines-to-car-parts group included four profit warnings and two failed restructuring efforts.

Reporting by Thomas Seythal; Editing by Christoph Steitz

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