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Ken Iverson, Nucor Founder, Dies

Ken Iverson, Nucor Founder, Dies

Monday, April 22, 2002
 
F. Kenneth Iverson, who as president of Vulcraft in the 1960s, led the formation of minimill power Nucor Corp., has died. He was 76. Iverson and a handful of former Vulcraft officials oversaw Nucor as it entered the steelmaking arena in 1969 with a new plant in Darlington, SC. Under his leadership, Nucor created a joint venture, Nucor-Yamato, with a Japanese steelmaker in the mid-1980s. Also in that era, he championed adoption of thin-slab casting, allowing creation of steel sheet by casting steel in 2-in. slabs, much thinner than what was cast at the time. A mill was built in Crawfordsville, IN, to capitalize on the technology. Under his direction, Nucor would lead the minimill boom, where steel was produced in smaller factories using recycled scrap as opposed to integrated steelmaking, which requires huge blast-furnace facilities. In tonnage produced, Nucor now is the largest steelmaker in the United States. Iverson instilled key values at Nucor that have been widely imitated. These include a lean corporate staff, lack of executive perks, decentralized leadership and construction of facilities in rural areas.

 

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