17 Feb 2017

British Steel appoints Peter Bernscher as new CEO

British Steel today announces the appointment of Peter Bernscher as the company’s new Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Peter, who will officially take up the position on 2 May 2017, has 30 years of experience in the steel industry, having held numerous board and director positions with global leading technology and capital goods group voestalpine.

Peter, who is 48 and from Austria, has a wide and varied knowledge of the steel sector. His most recent post is as Executive Board Member of voestalpine’s Metal Forming Division. Previous positions in the company include a CEO role in the Dutch voestalpine Polynorm Group and a Managing Director position in the Steel Division’s International Service Centre Organisation. He spent several years as Executive Board Member of Metalservice Group – a voestalpine joint venture in Italy. Peter obtained a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) in 2006.

When Peter joins British Steel, Roland Junck will continue in his current role as Executive Chairman until the end of 2017. They will work in tandem during this period of handover, after which time Roland will take up the position of Non-Executive Chairman and continue to provide his experience and strategic support to the business.

British Steel’s Executive Chairman Roland Junck said: “I’m delighted to welcome Peter to our team. We haven’t rushed the process of securing a CEO because we wanted to ensure we got the right person for the role and Peter is that person.

“He’s highly experienced, with a strong commercial background and will bring another important external viewpoint to the company as we continue our evolution into an outward looking business.

“Peter will join the team later in the spring and be fundamental in ensuring tactical growth of our business and our British Steel brand as we continue to strengthen our long-term capability and build a sustainable future as an industry leader serving our employees, our customers and our local communities.”

Speaking about his new appointment Peter Bernscher said: “I’m delighted to have accepted the role of CEO at British Steel. I’m immensely impressed with the turnaround the business has made in the past 12 months – the change in results and in the way the business is now operating makes me excited about what lies ahead.

“The British Steel brand also attracted me to the position – it brings strength from its heritage but also a fresh approach and will be a great asset in helping the business to be successful in both domestic and international markets.

“Everyone I’ve met within the business has shown a drive and determination to make sure it continues to secure further growth. I’ve worked in the industry all my professional life and I’m looking forward to bringing my own perspective to the company.

“The steel industry still faces many challenges but with strategies already being implemented to overcome these, and an inner strength across the business that enables it to make the most of the opportunities available, I’m looking forward to contributing to the success of British Steel on its journey to long term sustainability.”

British Steel recently announced that it ended Q3 2016 in profit following its first seven months of independence and is already executing the next stage of its turnaround plan. The business is on track to continue its growth in a competitive global market through a combination of both further cost efficiencies and continued investment.

The company has committed over £39m in capital expenditure this financial year and taken on over 350 new employees since its launch on 1 June.