CHARLOTTE, N.C., Nov. 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Daniel R. DiMicco, who in more than 12 years as Chief Executive Officer led Nucor Corporation (NYSE: NUE) through one of its most explosive and profitable growth periods and an industry-leading total shareholder return of 463.9%, announced today that he is passing this privilege and responsibility on to current President and Chief Operating Officer, John J. Ferriola. Ferriola will follow DiMicco as CEO effective January 1, 2013. DiMicco, 62, who served as Nucor's CEO longer than anyone since founder Ken Iverson, took over as Nucor's leader in September 2000, near the start of an economic slump that radically restructured the steel industry in the United States and abroad. DiMicco will remain with Nucor as Executive Chairman. Peter C. Browning, Nucor's lead independent director, said, " Dan DiMicco has been one of the nation's outstanding CEOs. I believe one of his most remarkable and lasting achievements was his ability to retain and strengthen Nucor's unique culture, even as Nucor's strategy evolved. One of the first things he did as CEO was to visit every Nucor division to talk with Nucor teammates nationwide. While sales rose nearly five-fold and the number of divisions jumped, Dan kept every teammate focused on the Nucor core principles of Safety, Teamwork, Integrity, Personal Responsibility, Performance, Continual Improvement and Profitability." John Ferriola has stepped repeatedly into roles of increasing responsibility as part of Nucor's succession planning. An electrical engineer by training, Ferriola began his career with Bethlehem Steel Corporation in 1974. He joined Nucor in 1992 as manager of maintenance and engineering at the Jewett, Texas bar mill. Through his first decade with the company, Ferriola served as general manager at three divisions: Vulcraft Texas in Grapeland, the bar mill in Norfolk, Nebraska, and the sheet mill in Crawfordsville, Indiana. He was named Executive Vice President in 2002, then Chief Operating Officer of Steelmaking Operations in 2007. In January 2011, the Board of Directors appointed him Nucor's President and Chief Operating Officer and elected him to the Board. "I am honored to be given the opportunity to lead the tremendous team we've assembled," Ferriola said. "We have many challenges in front of us, as we continue to work safely and take care of our customers. I am extremely excited about the impressive work being done by our team to significantly grow Nucor's earnings platform well into the future."