Elliot Management and Swedish activist investor Cevian are pushing for Thyssenkrupp to continue on its path of “structural evolution”, a change in its overall strategy as well as appointing a permanent CEO.
In a move that is aimed at changing the leadership and thus the strategy of Thyssenkrupp, activist investor Elliot Management told the German conglomerate’s supervisory board that it should replace Guido Kerkhoff as its CEO with a new external candidate.
Kerkhoff became the conglomerate’s CEO following Heinrich Hiesinger resignation this month. Earlier this week, Ulrich Lehner, Thyssenkrupp’s chairman also submitted his paper. The duo had resisted investor calls to restructure the industrial conglomerate.
In its letter to the board, Elliot said, Kerkhoff should be seen as an interim solution.
“Shareholders expect an unbiased search for a new external CEO, driven by what is best for the company and all of its stakeholders, including shareholders,” reads Elliott’s letter, which it made available on today. It goes on to state, “However, this interim period must be kept short so that Thyssenkrupp may quickly be set on a path to prosperity and growth”.
Underscoring the need for Thyssenkrupp to continue on its path of “structural evolution” Elliott stated it had never demanded a complete dismantling of the conglomerate and was very disappointed with the terms of the deal struck with Tata Steel.
According to information available in Thyssenkrupp’s latest filing, Elliott has a stake of less than 3% in the conglomerate while Cevian, a Swedish activist investor has an 18% stake.