Nucor CEO DiMicco stepping down at end of year
Nov 16, 2012 (Menafn - The Charlotte Observer - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --Nucor Corp. CEO Dan DiMicco, who helped steer the steel producer through a period of growth and then an economic downturn, will step down at the end of the year, the Charlotte-based company announced Friday.
DiMicco, 62, had served as CEO since 2000. He will stay on as executive chairman of the company's board.
President and Chief Operating Officer John J. Ferriola, 60, will become chief executive Jan. 1.
"Dan DiMicco has been one of the nation's outstanding CEOs," lead independent director Peter Browning said in a statement. "I believe one of his most remarkable and lasting achievements was his ability to retain and strengthen Nucor's unique culture, even as Nucor's strategy evolved."
Browning said the move was part of the company's leadership transition plan.
Nucor shares closed up less than a quarter of a percent, to 39.43.
A metallurgist, DiMicco joined Nucor in 1982 and quickly moved up the ranks at one of the company's important steel mills in Plymouth, Utah.
Nine years later, he was named vice president and general manager of a Nucor joint venture with Yamato Kogyo Co. He became president and chief executive in September 2000, and was named board chairman in 2006.
The company's stock has grown 336 percent since he took the helm. DiMicco also became widely respected in steel and manufacturing circles.
He's served on the boards of the World Steel Association and the American Iron and Steel Institute, and was named to IndustryWeek magazine's Manufacturing Hall of Fame.
DiMicco also has been outspoken on economic issues.
"We have failed miserably to identify the proper problems, and unless you identify the problem properly, you have no chance in hell -- sorry about that, no chance -- of finding workable solutions," he said at an economic forum in Charlotte last December.
American Iron and Steel Institute president Thomas Gibson praised DiMicco's "tremendous leadership" in a statement Friday.
"His service to the institute and our industry has been immeasurable and we look forward to his continued advocacy on behalf of Nucor and the manufacturing community," Gibson said.
DiMicco was paid 8.1 million last year. He could be due more than 12 million upon his retirement, according to securities filings.
The new leader
His successor, Ferriola, is an electrical engineer who started his career in 1974 with Bethlehem Steel Corp. He joined Nucor in 1992 as the manager of maintenance and engineering at the company's bar mill in Jewett, Texas.
He became executive vice president in 2002, chief operating officer of steelmaking in 2007, and chief operating officer and president last year.
"I am honored to be given the opportunity to lead the tremendous team we've assembled," Ferriola said in a statement. "We have many challenges in front of us, as we continue to work safely and take care of our customers. I am extremely excited about the impressive work being done by our team to significantly grow Nucor's earnings platform well into the future."
DiMicco said it was important for him and the board for the new CEO to be named from within.
"Nucor couldn't be in better hands," DiMicco said in a statement. "Nothing brings me greater satisfaction than for John to be CEO going forward."
Neither DiMicco nor Ferriola were available for an interview Friday. Gibson of the American Iron and Steel Institute said in a statement that he looks forward to working with Ferriola.
"We congratulate John Ferriola in his new leadership role and look forward to working with him in addressing the important issues facing our industry," Gibson said. "John has the skills and confidence to ensure a smooth leadership transition at Nucor."
Dunn: 704-358-5235 Twitter: @andrew_dunn
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