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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 April, 2003, 07:53 GMT 08:53 UK
New bosses take charge at Corus
Corus factory
Corus hopes for the 'right leadership'
Anglo-Dutch steel giant Corus will be hoping that an influx of new blood will help restore its fortunes.

The company has taken on Philippe Varin as its new chief executive and promoted Jim Leng to chairman.

In March, the then chief executive Tony Pedder stepped down after announcing mounting losses.

Chairman Sir Brian Moffat was also under pressure to quit but said he would not go until a new chairman and chief executive were in place.

With the right leadership and commitment, Corus can become united, internationally competitive and profitable
Philippe Varin
New chief executive

Mr Varin, who has held a number of executive positions in the French aluminium group Pechiney, takes up his post on 1 May.

Currently serving as deputy chairman, Mr Leng will take over from chairman Sir Brian on 1 June.

"Whilst I do not underestimate the challenge ahead, I believe that with the right leadership and commitment, Corus can become united, internationally competitive and profitable," Mr Varin said.

Workers at Corus welcomed the appointments.

Michael Leahy, General Secretary of the ISTC union said: "Corus has been crying out for new blood at the top after the previous management's record of managing decline."

Bonus scheme

The new chief executive will be on a one-year contract but the company will have to give him two years' notice if it wants to end his employment during the first year.

Mr Varin will be paid an annual salary of 690,000 ($1.1m) and receive a pension allowance equal to 30% of his salary.

He will also take part in the executive directors bonus scheme with a guaranteed bonus of 20% in the first year.

At the beginning of this month Corus was heavily criticised when it announced changes to the way its bonuses were calculated.

It said they would no longer be dependent on whether the firm made a profit, but could be awarded for either personal performance or for improving the firm's cash balance.

Job cuts

The steelmaker has been hit by the world slump in steel demand.

Plans to raise cash by selling two aluminium plants had to be abandoned after a challenge in the Dutch courts.

In the UK, Corus has warned of further plant closures to try to cut costs.

The company, created out of a merger between British Steel and Dutch Hoogovens, has cut 6,000 jobs over the past three years and a further 3,000 are likely to go in the near future.

News of the new appointments sent Corus shares up by more than a penny to 11.3p.

Corus workers stage protests
14 Apr 03  |  Business
Corus bonuses under fire
01 Apr 03  |  England

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