LIBERTY Steel Group appoints global leadership team and independent board members
by David Fleschen
LIBERTY Steel Group has announced the formation of a new board of directors as it completes the consolidation of its global businesses. The board will oversee the group’s strategy and investments, including LIBERTY Steel Group’s goal of becoming a carbon neutral company by 2030.
The group is to be chaired by Sanjeev Gupta, with executives drawn both from within the GFG Alliance family of companies and beyond with independent non-executive directors appointed, bringing external expertise into the group.
The immediate focus of the board will be to weather the economic storm brought about by the COVID-19 crisis and to ensure the business is well prepared for the recovery when it comes. Executive Chairman, Sanjeev Gupta, said: “This is an important step as we complete the consolidation of GFG Alliance’s steel businesses into LIBERTY Steel Group. I’m proud of the leadership team we’ve brought together, which comprises some of the most experienced names in the global metals industry. The immediate focus of the LIBERTY Steel Group board will be to manage the impact of COVID-19 on our people, operations and customers, and ensure the group is well prepared for the recovery when it comes.”
LIBERTY Steel Group’s Chief Operating Officer is to be Arnaud de Weert who, until recently, was Chief Executive of ALVANCE Aluminium. The group’s Chief Financial Officer remains V Ashok, who joined LIBERTY Steel in 2019.
Two regional presidents will take oversight of international operations. Overseeing Australia and the United States will be Daksesh Patel (Dak Patel), who will continue in his parallel role as Executive Director and Chief Executive of InfraBuild in Australia.
Meanwhile, Roland Junck, a highly experienced steel industry figure, will oversee LIBERTY Steel in the United Kingdom and continental Europe. Mr Junck’s previous roles include Chief Executive of ArcelorMittal and Chairman of British Steel.
LIBERTY Steel Group is also appointing two independent non-executive directors to operate to international best practice of corporate governance. Australian businessman and steel industry veteran Ray Horsburgh AM will join the board as an independent non-executive director along with Paul Struijk, a natural resources and mining sector specialist with vast global experience.
Sanjeev Gupta said: “I’m delighted that Dak Patel has agreed to take on additional responsibilities beyond his successful role as Executive Director and Chief Executive of InfraBuild. And we’re pleased to welcome Roland Junck, a true steel industry heavy weight whose insights and experience will be invaluable. Together with our newly appointed independent non-executive directors Ray Horsburgh and Paul Struijk we have an exceptionally talented board that will help to propel our business forwards.”
The full board will consist of:
- Sanjeev Gupta, Executive Chairman and CEO, LIBERTY Steel Group
- V Ashok, Chief Financial Officer, LIBERTY Steel Group
- Arnaud de Weert, Chief Operating Officer, LIBERTY Steel Group
- Roland Junck, President and interim CEO, LIBERTY Steel Europe & UK
- Dak Patel, President, LIBERTY Steel Australia & USA
- Ray Horsburgh AM, Independent Non-Executive Director
- Paul Struijk, Independent Non-Executive Director
Biographies are available at: LIBERTY Steel Group Board
As part of the new management structure, Greg Jones, is appointed CEO for LIBERTY Steel USA. Greg has been with LIBERTY Steel and its predecessor businesses in Australia for 13 years working in senior financial and commercial positions, most recently as Managing Director for InfraBuild Wire where he’s overseen excellent business results. Greg will move to the US with his family to take up the position.
The consolidated LIBERTY Steel Group will be incorporated in Singapore and have a financial year end of 31st March 2020 to ensure its first set of consolidated accounts reflects normalised performance given the COVID-19 crisis. Baker Tilly International are the appointed auditors for LIBERTY Steel Group.
The newly formed LIBERTY Steel Group is now the 8th largest steel group outside China, employing 30,000 people with operations spanning UK, Europe, USA and Australia.