Huger steel mill owner Nucor Corp. today said that its president and chief operating officer, John Ferriola, will succeed Dan DiMicco as CEO on Jan. 1.

DiMicco will remain with the Charlotte-based company as executive chairman.

“This announcement reflects the thoughtful, planned transition of leadership at Nucor,” said Peter Browning, the company’s lead director.

The incoming CEO is an electrical engineer by training. Ferriola began his career in the industry with Bethlehem Steel in 1974. He joined Nucor in 1992 as manager of maintenance and engineering at a mill in Jewett, Texas.

He went on to run three plants and was named executive vice president in 2002. He was promoted to COO of steelmaking operations in 2007. He was named president and COO in early 2011.

DiMicco, 62, served as Nucor’s CEO longer than anyone since founder Ken Iverson, He was in Charleston recently to speak at the Lowcountry Manufacturers Council.

The company’s local steel mill is on the Cooper River in Berkeley County. It has more than 700 employees and is in the midst of an expansion.