Steel News

Nucor CEO John Ferriola Announces December Retirement

9/6/2019 - Nucor Corp. chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) John Ferriola will retire at the end of this year and will be succeeded by executive vice president Leon J. Topalian, the company announced Friday.

“At the same time, the board is excited to announce that Leon Topalian will be the next CEO, and we are confident that he is ideally positioned to lead Nucor in the coming years," he added.

Ferriola has been with Nucor for more than 28 years, having joined the company in 1991 as the maintenance and engineering manager at Nucor Steel–Texas. He later served as general manager of Vulcraft-Texas, Nucor Steel–Nebraska and Nucor Steel–Indiana.

He was named a vice president in 1996 and an executive vice president in 2002. In 2007, he was promoted as chief operating officer of steelmaking operations and was later appointed president and chief operating officer. He has served as the CEO since 2013.

"One of my key priorities as CEO over the past several years has been to lead a robust and thoughtful succession process, and I believe now is the ideal time for me to transition Nucor's leadership. I could not be more supportive of Leon as the next CEO. He has been an exceptional and proven leader throughout his 23-year career with Nucor, and I am confident in his selection as my successor.”

Topalian, 51, joined Nucor in 1996 and has led company facilities in Arkansas and Illinois as general manager. He was named a vice president in 2013 and became an executive vice president in 2017. As an executive vice president, he mostly recently oversaw Nucor's beam and plate products operations. 

"I am honored to be given the opportunity to serve as Nucor's next CEO and appreciate the confidence of the board and John Ferriola," Topalian said.

Through the transition, Topalian will serve as president and chief operating officer. He’ll take on his duties as CEO on 1 January 2020.