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Roger Phillips, former president of Ipsco, dies

Keywords: Tags  Roger Phillips, Ipsco, Alcan, Tom Danjczek, SMA, Steel Manufacturers Association, AISI, obituary


NEW YORK — Roger Phillips, former president and chief executive officer of Ipsco Inc., has died.

The cause of death was not immediately known, and family members of Phillips could not be reached.

Phillips led the company for 20 years, transforming it from a Regina, Saskatchewan-based regional pipe and tube company into a binational presence and overseeing a nearly fivefold increase in its production capacity. Under his leadership, Ipsco replaced its ingot-making facility with a modern continuous slab caster, beginning a transformation that expanded operations to Mobile, Ala., as well as Montpelier, Iowa. He retired from the company at the end of 2001.

"Roger Phillips, when he was the CEO of Ipsco, was a true leader in the North American mini-mill industry," Thomas A. Danjczek, president of the Steel Manufacturers Association, told AMM. "He led significant change in mini-mill plate production at several facilities and led a very successfully financial company."

Ipsco grew from a micro-mill with an annual capacity of some 700,000 tons into a 3.5-million-ton giant under Phillips’ watch, Danjczek said. "On a personal basis, he was energetic, enthusiastic and a true leader in the business."

Thomas J. Gibson, president and chief executive officer of the American Iron and Steel Institute, said Phillips “was a champion of the steel industry and a true visionary of the U.S. manufacturing sector for over 20 years.”

Born in 1939, Phillips studied physics at McGill University. After graduating, he joined Alcan Inc. and rose to the role of vice president before moving to Ipsco in 1981.

Phillips served on the boards of many companies and organizations throughout his career, and also amassed many honors. In 1997, the London-based Institute of Physics named him a fellow—an honor typically reserved for research scientists—and in 1999 he was invested as an Officer of the Order of Canada. The AISI awarded him its prestigious Gary Memorial Medal for extraordinary contributions to the North American steel industry in 2002 ( amm.com, May 23, 2002).

Jo Isenberg-O’Loughlin, New York, contributed to this story.


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