Schnitzer Steel Industries Inc.: Changing of the Guard

Nov. 5, 2008
New CEO takes over company that posted record profits in the fourth quarter.

When Tamara Lundgren assumes her role as president and CEO of Schnitzer Steel Industries Inc. on Dec. 1, she will head a company that will start 2009 coming off of one of its strongest-ever quarters. Lundgren, 51, replaces current president and CEO John Carter, who was recently elected the company's board chairman, the company said Nov. 4.

The 2008 IW 50 Best Manufacturer that processes scrap steel and iron for steel producers said on Oct. 28 its fourth-quarter net income of $126 million, or $4.38 a share, set a record for the fiscal period. Year-ago profit was $38 million, or $1.28 a share. Quarterly revenues also reached record levels at $1.3 billion, compared with $749 million during the same period last year.

For the year, net income nearly doubled, reaching $249 million, or $8.61 per share. The company benefited from higher processed ferrous prices and less competition from imports.

Schnitzer also realized gains from internal efficiency improvements.

"During the year we increased our focus on our continuous improvement program, continued to make capital investments in technology that provided greater recovery of nonferrous materials and improved operating efficiencies, and again delivered higher asset utilization and production volumes," said Lundgren when the earnings were released.

Schnitzer Steel Industries Inc.
At A Glance

Schnitzer Steel Industries Inc.
Portland, Ore.
Primary Industry: Primary Metals
Number of Employees: 3,499
2007 In Review
Revenue: $2.6 billion
Profit Margin: 5.1%
Sales Turnover: 2.23
Inventory Turnover: 8.35
Revenue Growth: 38.69%
Return On Assets: 12.57%
Return On Equity: 17.89%

Lundgren has served as executive vice president and chief operating officer for the past two years. She joined the company in 2005 along with Carter. Since that time, the company has bounced back from an investigation that led to a $15.2 million settlement for receiving kickbacks from Asian customers, and has made several acquisitions and expansions.

Prior to joining Schnitzer, Lundgren was a managing director in investment banking at Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan Chase in London and New York.

In a Nov. 4 statement, current board chair Kenneth Novack complimented Carter and Lundgren for driving the company's growth since their arrival.

"Schnitzer has achieved record growth, earnings and profitability since Mr. Carter and Ms. Lundgren joined the company in 2005," said Novack, who will remain with the company as director.

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About the Author

Jonathan Katz | Former Managing Editor

Former Managing Editor Jon Katz covered leadership and strategy, tackling subjects such as lean manufacturing leadership, strategy development and deployment, corporate culture, corporate social responsibility, and growth strategies. As well, he provided news and analysis of successful companies in the chemical and energy industries, including oil and gas, renewable and alternative.

Jon worked as an intern for IndustryWeek before serving as a reporter for The Morning Journal and then as an associate editor for Penton Media’s Supply Chain Technology News.

Jon received his bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Kent State University and is a die-hard Cleveland sports fan.

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