Wim de Klerk Via Twitter
JOHANNESBURG - The chief executive of ArcelorMittal’s South African unit will step down in January 2018, the company said.

ArcelorMittal South Africa, the country’s largest steelmaker, has approved CEO Wim de Klerk’s request to retire after less than two years at the helm, the company said in a statement.

The company has had to cut costs to stem losses and has angled for emergency steel tariffs to protect the local industry against cheap imports it has said is hurting its business.

“Challenges remain and we will commence with a search to appoint a new CEO who can continue to implement our strategy and structurally improve the performance of the business,” the company said.

ArcelorMittal South Africa shares were down 2.7% at R5.70 by 0846 GMT and lagged a 0.1 decline in the JSE’s All-share index.

De Klerk, a former Exxaro executive, joined the company as chief executive in September 2016 and will depart at the end of January 2018.

-REUTERS