After six years at the helm, Nonkululeko Nyembezi-Heita has decided to step down as CEO and executive director of ArcelorMittal with effect from Tuesday 18 February 2014.

“Although challenging, over the last six years as a management team, we have achieved significant advances in a number of areas. Our safety performance is now world-class and we have also taken huge strides towards meeting our environmental obligations,” said Nyembezi-Heita.

“There is steady progress in our operational improvement programmes with pleasing results in places. As the market turns, we can expect a marked improvement in our financial performance, aided in no small measure by the recent settlement with Kumba.”

On behalf of the board, the chairman Mpho Makwana thanked Nyembezi-Heita for her tremendous contribution to ArcelorMittal during an exceptionally challenging period not only for the company, but the steel industry generally. Makwana wished her success in the next chapter of her career and commented that ArcelorMittal is in a considerably better position than when Nyembezi-Heita joined the group six years ago.

Makwana said the board will embark on a search for Nyembezi-Heita’s successor and an announcement on the transitional period will be made in due course.