Martina Merz

Courtesy of Thyssenkrupp
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Merz joined the supervisory board of Thyssenkrupp, the storied but troubled German conglomerate, in December 2018. Last October, after the CEO of 14 months was ousted, she became the $47 billion company’s interim chief executive. And then, in April, after selling off the group’s most profitable elevator business for $18.9 billion and winning the support of her clashing shareholders, she was given the official CEO title and a three-year term. That’s not to say the hard work for Merz is over. She is now focused on what to do about the group’s ailing steel division. Though she has expressed openness to ideas, including state involvement, U.K.-based Liberty Steel made a bid for the business in mid-October. Beyond that, there’s shoring up the company’s financials and other units to ensure the company has a strong future. Merz, a mechanical engineer, spent much of her career at Bosch and has served on the supervisory boards of Lufthansa and Volvo.

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