Cheesegrater claims scalp of steel manufacturer CEO

Posted on 24 Jan 2013 by Tim Brown

The chief executive of steelwork manufacturer Severfield-Rowen has resigned following the company's announcement that huge cost overruns on London's 'Cheesegrater' skyscraper building project may lead to the company posting a 2012 loss.

Cost overruns on the 122 Leadenhall project – known as the Cheesegrater due to its distinctive shape – adversely affected UK performance, the firm said.

Tom Haughey, chief executive Yorkshire-based Severfield-Rowen and who headed the company for a decade, has resigned with immediate effect. He has been replaced by chairman John Dodds, who will act temporarily as executive chairman.

Shares at the company, whose other 2012 projects included the Shard building and the London Olympic Stadium, fell 33.26%. As at 31 December 2012, net borrowings at the company were £30m with orders stable at £209m.

In a statement, the company said: “As previously announced the Group’s UK businesses have been operating in a difficult
climate with pricing pressure and protraction of contractual settlements posing significant challenges as clients and the supply chain compete harder in a shrinking market.”

John Dodds, Executive Chairman, commented: “Severfield-Rowen is the UK’s market leader in structural steel and the development of its Indian activities is encouraging. Our order book remains stable, despite challenging current
conditions, and the Board is confident that the longer term fundamentals of the Group are strong.”