08 January 2009
Corporate News

New Chief Executive for Corus

The Board of Tata Steel has appointed Kirby Adams to succeed Philippe Varin as Chief Executive Officer of Corus and of Tata Steel Europe, the holding company of Tata Steel’s European operations.

Mr. Varin is stepping down on April 6, 2009, after six years in the role during which he led the turnaround of Corus.

Post Tata Steel’s acquisition of Corus in 2007, Mr. Varin has worked closely and effectively with Mr. B. Muthuraman, Managing Director of Tata Steel to successfully integrate Corus and Tata Steel. The Company is now well placed to achieve its long-term objectives.

American-born Mr. Adams was formerly Chief Executive of BlueScope Steel, headquartered in Melbourne, Australia. He has also served as Chairman of the International Iron and Steel Institute and has a wealth of international experience in the metal and mining industry. He will join the Boards of Tata Steel Europe and Tata Steel, subject to necessary approvals.

Once he has obtained the necessary visa, Mr. Adams will re-locate to London and commence working from early March 2009. Mr. Adams will report to Mr. Muthuraman.

When Tata Steel acquired Corus, Mr. Varin had agreed to continue as Chief Executive for at least two years. Now that he has met his commitment, he has decided to seek a new challenge. In order to ensure a smooth transition of executive leadership in Corus, Mr. Varin will continue to serve on the Boards of Tata Steel Europe and Tata Steel as a non-executive Director.

Ratan Tata, Chairman of Tata Steel, said: “I pay tribute to Philippe Varin for his outstanding contribution as Chief Executive of Corus and welcome Kirby Adams to an exciting and challenging assignment.”




Bob Jones, Group Head Media Relations: +44 (0)207 717 4532

Biography of Kirby Clarke Adams

Kirby Adams is an international chief executive with a proven ability to create substantial shareholder value in complex businesses.  He has a wealth of experience in metals and mining.

Born in Atlanta, Georgia, in the USA, he grew up in Georgia and Pennsylvania before graduating in industrial and mechanical engineering from Auburn University. He gained an MBA at the University of Virginia. Senior management roles:

  • BlueScope Steel, Melbourne, Australia, 2002-2008, founding Managing Director and CEO
  • BHP Steel, Melbourne, Australia, 2000-2002, President and CEO
  • BHP Limited, Melbourne, Australia, 1995-1999, President, BHP Service Companies, executive general manager, corporate strategy and business development
  • Titanium Metals Corporation Inc. (TIMET) Pittsburgh/Denver, USA, 1989-1995, President and CEO
  • NL Industries Inc. Houston and New York City, USA, 1981-1989, series of roles heading operating divisions and leading planning, strategy and merger divestment,restructuring,including acquisition and spin off of TIMET.
  • Armco Inc.National Supply Division Houston, USA, 1979-1981, head of strategy.

He served as a board member of the Business Council of Australia from 2002-2007 and is a former Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the International Iron and Steel Institute on which he served from 2000-2007. He received the Institute’s IISI Silver medal for steel industry safety leadership and is also a former Chairman of the Titanium Development Association.

He was instrumental in growing BlueScope Steel into a global industry leader.  He rejuvenated and repositioned Australia’s largest steelmaker into the global leader in steel building product solutions through organic growth and M&A in Australia, North America and Asia.

He led the company through demerger from BHP-Billiton and an IPO.  The company achieved a five-year total shareholder return of 500 per cent.  Under his leadership, BlueScope Steel became one of the safest manufacturing companies in Australia and a safety leader in the global steel industry.

Mr Adams has successfully built businesses in Asia.  He led the planning and development of a unique pan-Asian steel building products franchise with leading metallic coating/painting and pre-engineered buildings business across 30 sites in China, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei and Sri Lanka.  He created a significant Indian joint venture with Tata Steel in 2006.

Aged 53, he holds joint USA/Australian citizenship and his interests include swimming, skiing, physical fitness, travel and architecture.

About Corus

Corus is Europe's second largest steel producer with annual revenues of more than £12 billion and crude steel production of about 20 million tonnes.  With main steelmaking operations primarily in the UK and the Netherlands, Corus provides innovative solutions to the construction, automotive, packaging, mechanical engineering and other markets worldwide.  Corus is a subsidiary of Tata Steel, the world's sixth largest steel producer.  Following the acquisition of Corus in 2007, the combined enterprise has an aggregate crude steel capacity of more than 28 million tonnes and approximately 82,700 employees across four continents.