Sanjeev Gupta’s global GFG Alliance has appointed leading international metals and manufacturing figure, Arnaud de Weert, as chief executive of upstream activities for its fast-growing aluminium business.
The move follows GFG’s acquisition of Aluminium Dunkerque, Europe’s largest smelter, as part of its drive to establish a strong footprint in the manufacture of aluminium and downstream aluminium products.
A highly-experienced industry leader, Mr de Weert, 56, has distinguished himself over recent years as CEO of aluminium producer Aludium, which is headquartered in Amsterdam and has its mills in France and Spain.
The Dutch national graduated in business economics from the Erasmus University of Rotterdam and has spent most of his career in manufacturing; spearheading major change and growth programmes for large international enterprises in sectors including hygiene products, packaging, hand tools and power products, as well as aluminium, which has been his principal focus.
Immediately prior to his role at Aludium, Mr de Weert was operating partner at Atlas, a US-based private equity firm which bought the Aludium assets from Alcoa. Before joining Atlas, he was North American President for Owens-Illinois- one of the world’s largest glass bottle makers and previously he’d held tops posts at global aluminium producers Constellium and Novelis.
He said he was looking forward very much to his new GFG role. “In my view this is the most exciting job in the aluminium industry. We aim to deliver our powerful technical capability to the customers and enable them to be successful. It is all about profitable growth and long-term sustainability. We will capitalise fully on our existing expertise and build new expertise in order to serve the different parts of the market.”
GFG Alliance Strategic Board Director, Dr Douglas Dawson, said: “Given the rise in demand for stronger, lighter-weight materials, we see aluminium as a key opportunity for growth and sustainable profitability in the coming years and Arnaud’s skill and huge experience are exactly what we need to help us achieve that.”