Steel Mills

New Leadership for AK Steel

Written by Sandy Williams

AK Steel announced today that James L. Wainscott is retiring as President and Chief Executive Officer of AK Steel, effective January 1, 2016. Wainscott will continue to serve as Chairman of the Board of Directors in a non-executive capacity.

Roger K. Newport has been named as the new Chief Executive Officer and will serve as a member of the Board of Directors. Newport began his career with AK Steel in 1985 in the accounting department and advanced through a number of increasingly responsible finance, sales and marketing roles at the corporate headquarters and the company’s Middletown Works.He was named Controller in 2001, and Chief Accounting Officer in 2004. In 2010, he was named Vice President, Business Planning and Development, and, in 2012, Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer in 2012. In 2014 he was named Senior Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer and, in 2015, Executive Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer.

Kirk W. Reich, has been appointed President and Chief Operating Officer, reporting to Roger Newport. Reich joined AK Steel in 1989 in the engineering department at Middletown Works. He has extensive engineering, operations and maintenance experience, having led the company’s Middletown and Mansfield plants. He was named General Manager, Mansfield Works in 2000, General Manager, Middletown Works in 2006, Vice President, Specialty Steel Operations in 2010 and Vice President, Procurement and Supply Chain Management in 2012. He was named Senior Vice President, Manufacturing in 2014, and Executive Vice President, Manufacturing in 2015.

“These moves are part of a planned succession process at the company,” said Wainscott. “In Roger and Kirk, I am fortunate to pass on the leadership torch to these two fine executives who have demonstrated track records of success and who are ready to lead this great company for years to come. Together with the Board of Directors, I am here to support the senior leadership transition and to continue to do everything we can to return the company to profitability and to sustain and grow that profitability in the future.”

“It has been my honor and privilege to lead one of America’s and one of the world’s finest steel companies. I am proud of the fact that we rebuilt AK Steel into what it is today without using our retirees as currency. Notwithstanding some of the challenges we face in the days ahead, the company has a bright future and it is in very capable hands.”

Dr. James Thomson, Lead Independent Director said: “The Board is grateful to Jim Wainscott for his 12 years of leading the company as President and CEO and his more than 20 years of contributions to AK Steel. Without Jim’s strong leadership of AK Steel during difficult times, AK Steel would be a very different company than the one it is today. His leadership, including rebuilding relationships, the investments and acquisitions he has led, and the company’s renewed commitment to research and innovation, has positioned AK Steel well for future success.”

James Wainscott joined AK Steel as Vice President and Treasurer in 1995. He was named Chief Financial Officer in 1997, President, CEO and a member of the Board of Directors in 2003, and Chairman of the Board of Directors in 2006. Before joining AK Steel, Wainscott held a number of executive level positions with National Steel Corporation, and was elected Treasurer and Assistant Secretary of National Steel in 1993. In addition to his leadership of AK Steel, he serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Parker-Hannifin Corporation.

He is a former Chairman of the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) and past Chair of the Steel Market Development Institute. He has received AISI’s highest honor, the Gary Memorial Medal, for his life-long contributions to the North American steel industry. He currently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of Xavier University, and he is a member of the Board of Directors of the United Way of Greater Cincinnati. He was the Chairman of the 2014 United Way of Greater Cincinnati Campaign. He also serves on the Campaign Board of the Ohio Cancer Research Associates, and is a past Chair of the Good Samaritan Hospital Foundation. He has been selected to receive the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Corporate Growth in Cincinnati.

He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Ball State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting, and earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Notre Dame. He has received a number of prestigious awards from these educational institutions, including the President’s Medal of Distinction from Ball State, and the Distinguished Alumni Award from Notre Dame.

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