AK Steel Holding Corporation said Thursday that by mutual agreement with the company's board of directors, Richard M. Wardrop, Jr., chairman and CEO, and John G. Hritz, president, have resigned from their positions with the company, effective immediately. The board has named James L. Wainscott acting CEO, effective immediately.
Mr. Wainscott is senior vice president and CFO for AK Steel. Mr. Wainscott joined the company in 1995 as vice president and treasurer.
AK Steel said that its board has formed an executive committee, comprised of independent directors Robert H. Jenkins, Lawrence A. Leser, and Eugene A. Renna. The committee, which will be chaired by Mr. Jenkins, will provide corporate oversight and facilitate interaction with executive management. Mr. Jenkins also said the board of directors has begun the search for a new CEO, led by board member Donald V. Fites with the assistance of an executive search firm.
"The board appreciates Dick's leadership of AK Steel over the last decade, during which time he led the company to industry leadership in virtually every significant measure. Likewise, John has served AK Steel and its predecessors since 1989, providing valuable leadership and enormous dedication to the organization," said Mr. Jenkins.
"The board simply believes that now is the time for a new perspective to address the company's current challenges," Mr. Jenkins continued. "Despite continuing difficult market conditions, the board of directors believes AK Steel is a strong franchise with outstanding products, solid customer relationships and a talented management team. We are extremely confident in Jim Wainscott's leadership stepping into the acting CEO role during this important time," he said.
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