Friday, October 20, 2017

News: Liberty appoints new UK CEO

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Peter Hogg has taken on the role of chief executive of Liberty Speciality Steels with Jon Bolton's appointment as chief executive of the enlarged UK steel division of global metals and industrials group, Liberty House.

Bolton was the first chief executive of Liberty Speciality Steels which was created this year with the £100m deal to acquire the Speciality Steels division of Tata Steel UK.

He was previously Liberty's director of UK steel development, with responsibility also for the group's plates and speciality units, but, following major acquisitions by Liberty House over recent months, he has been given overall responsibility for the expanded and restructured steel business in the UK.

Liberty, part of the GFG Alliance, now has three steel operations in the UK – rolled products, speciality steels and pipes – each with its own chief executive.

Speciality Steels includes several South Yorkshire-based assets including the electric arc steelworks and bar mill at Rotherham, the steel purifying facility in Stocksbridge and a mill in Brinsworth.

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The appointment means that Peter Hogg, previously chief operations officer of Liberty Speciality Steels, will take on the role of chief executive for that division.

Jon Bolton has more than 30 years' steel industry experience both in the UK and internationally, including senior positions with Tata Steel and its predecessors Corus and British Steel. He spent five years in the USA, where he led the construction and subsequent operation of a 2.2 million tonnes-a-year "mini mill" in Alabama and two years based in France while managing director of Corus Rail.

In addition to his company role, Jon is chair of the employers group, UK Steel, and jointly chairs the UK Steel Council along with the Secretary of State for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy, advising government and providing strategic leadership to the sector.

Peter Hogg (pictured, below), joined Liberty from British Steel, where he became a director at the company's inception in 2016, following a 25-year career that spanned top leadership roles in the sector across the world.

Since entering the industry as a Cambridge University engineering graduate in 1991, he has distinguished himself in a series of key manufacturing and commercial roles with Tata Steel UK and its predecessor companies. This included a period as managing director of Tata's Speciality Steels division.

The chartered engineer is also a member of the management board of UK Steel and has been a leading member of the industry team constructing a "steel sector deal" with the UK's Government's department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Sanjeev Gupta, executive chairman of the Liberty House Group and GFG Alliance said: "Following our expansion in the UK over the past two years, we are now able to serve the market with a full range of long and flat products and we are very pleased and encouraged to have such a talented and experienced management team to lead these excellent operations."

Liberty House has previously announced that it will be creating around 300 new steel jobs at sites like Aldwarke in Rotherham and Stocksbridge in Sheffield.

Earlier this month saw the official re-activation the "small bloom" caster at Aldwarke more than 18 months after it was mothballed by previous owners during the steel crisis.

Following the initial £20m investment, production from the arc furnaces in Rotherham is expected to rise to over a million tonnes per annum and there are plans for the bar mill to roll over 400,000 tonnes a year.

Liberty Speciality Steel website

Images: Liberty House / British Steel

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