CHICAGO - Neil S. Novich, chairman, president
and chief executive officer of Ryerson Inc., was given a new
lease on his job following a proxy fight for control of the
company's board at Ryerson's annual meeting.
Novich said before the Aug. 23 vote that he
still had no assurances on what his position would be if a
$2-billion deal the board negotiated to sell Chicago-based
Ryerson to Platinum Equity LLC, Beverly Hills, Calif., is
completed later this year.
But a review of documents on the proposed
merger filed by Ryerson with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission after the annual meeting shows that Novich, 53,
would be in line for compensation totaling at least $13.8
million in performance awards, incentives and other benefits if
the deal is completed.
Steel industry analysts, few of whom are
willing to talk about Ryerson or Novich on the record these
days, have long criticized the performance of the service
center giant that Novich has headed for eight years after
leaving a distribution and logistics industry consultancy
practice he founded at Bain & Co.
Novich then helped to orchestrate Ryerson's
spin-off from the former Inland Steel Co., which is now part of
ArcelorMittal. He organized sharp cuts in the company's
operations during industry cutbacks in the early part of this
decade before negotiating the $644-million acquisition of
Integris Metal Inc. from Alcoa Inc. and BHP Billiton three
Novich and other Ryerson executives have
consistently defended the company as performing on par with
other service center industry competitors.