BlueScope Steel says it is planning a structural reorganisation that will combine its Australian and New Zealand businesses into a consolidated trans-Tasman unit.

BlueScope chief executive Paul O’Malley said the new structure will combine three existing business units to deliver sales and marketing improvements and more integrated customer service.

Mr O’Malley said it was in response to macro-economic forces at play in the steel sector.

“Externally, the priority focus is to compete against imported steel and fast track the growth of our business in key sectors such as building and construction.

“Internally, the focus is on integrating business support functions.”

BlueScope has appointed Mark Vassella, currently president of BlueScope North America, as chief executive of BlueScope Australia and New Zealand.

Noel Cornish will retire as chief executive of the company's steel manufacturing businesses from the beginning of August, when he will join the board of the North Star BlueScope Steel joint venture.

Australian Coated and Industrial Markets chief executive Paul O’Keefe will lead the transition to the new organisation structure and integration of management and support functions.

BlueScope shares have bdropped since the steelmaker unveiled a $55M loss for the December half on February 21.

The company has been hammered by the strong dollar, which affects interest margins, and the surging cost of iron ore and coking coal inputs.