British Steel appoints a new chief executive with Roland Junck to take a step back

Oliver Gill
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Tata Steel Prepares To Make Redundancies
British Steel reported last month it was profit-making for the first time since its split from Tata Steel (Source: Getty)

British Steel, the rebranded company that runs the Scunthorpe steelworks, has appointed a new chief executive, signalling an important next step in putting operations on an even keel.

Peter Bernscher, who has served on the boards of several European steel firms, will take on the role, allowing executive chairman Roland Junck to take step back from the day-to-day running of the firm.

He said: "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."

Read more: British Steel is in profit for the first time since splitting with Tata

Greybull Capital bought the Lincolnshire site together with eight other divisions in April 2016 for a nominal fee of £1 from Tata Steel.

Saving 4,800 jobs, Greybull negotiated a series of changes to make operations financially viable. These included cutting wages and bonuses together with an end to workers' final salary pension scheme.

Read more: British steel "on track" to shake off large losses and return to profit

Junck, the former chairman of the world's largest steel producer ArcelorMittal, was drafted in by Greybull to get the business back on track. The pair will work in tandem until the end of 2017, after which Junck will move to non-executive chairman.

Last month, the firm reported it was back making profit for the first time since its split from the wider Tata group. Junck added:

We haven’t rushed the process of securing a chief executive because we wanted to ensure we got the right person for the role and Peter is that person.

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