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Young Aditya Mittal steps closer to the top job at ArcelorMittal

By Rashmi Kumar

Aditya Mittal, son of steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal, has significantly increased his responsibilities at ArcelorMittal in a move some see as preparation for his eventual succession to leading the company.

In a statement on 24 May, the Luxembourg-based steel group said that Aditya, who currently leads operations in the Americas, will take over running the European unit—the company’s biggest but with the lowest earnings.

Analysts reckon this is a strategy to provide Mittal with more management experience to prepare him to eventually succeed his father. When contacted, an ArcelorMittal spokesman refused to comment on the change and said that the issue was “sensitive”.

Aditya Mittal has earned plaudits for his astute handling of the company’s operations; he orchestrated the Mittal group’s acquisition of Arcelor in 2006. The 35-year-old chief financial officer also spearheaded the company’s expansion into Central Europe, Africa and the US. He replaces Michel Wurth as head of European operations, while Wurth will take over a different branch of the group’s worldwide operations.

The family has a 42% stake in the business founded by Lakshmi Mittal in 1976 as Mittal Steel—he still serves as chairman and chief executive of ArcelorMittal. The 60-year-old is the richest man in the UK, and the sixth-richest person in the world with an estimated wealth of $31.1 billion.

ArcelorMittal was formed in 2006 after the merger of Mittal Steel and Arcelor. The company had revenues of almost $80 billion in 2010. Lakshmi’s daughter Vanisha is also a member of the group’s board.