Klaus Kleinfeld Steps Down as Arconic Chair and CEO
April 17, 2017
Kleinfeld, by mutual agreement with the Arconic Board of Directors, has
stepped down as Chair and Chief Executive Officer of Arconic and has
resigned as a Board member.
David P. Hess, a current Board member, has been appointed as Interim CEO
of Arconic and will remain on the Board. Mr. Hess has decades of
experience in leading aerospace and industrial businesses. Patricia F.
Russo, Arconic’s current Lead Director, has been appointed as Interim
Chair of the Board. Ms. Russo has served on the Board since 2008 and has
been serving as Lead Director since 2015.
“The Board is focused on hiring a world-class CEO to lead Arconic into
its next chapter. We are focused on ensuring a smooth leadership
transition for our customers, employees and many stakeholders,” said Ms.
Russo. “The Board is deeply grateful to Klaus Kleinfeld for his
dedication and service as Chair and CEO of Arconic, and previously of
Alcoa Inc., and appreciates his assistance with this transition. Klaus
led a complex and highly successful transformation of Alcoa Inc. that
culminated in the launch of two strong, standalone companies – Alcoa
Corporation and Arconic. Today, Arconic is a leading advanced
manufacturer of highly engineered products with strong market
Mr. Kleinfeld said, “I have had the honor and the privilege of working
with so many talented and dedicated colleagues at Alcoa Inc. and now at
Arconic. Together we have accomplished a lot. Today, Arconic is well
positioned for the next phase. I am committed to supporting David and
the Board through this transition phase.”
Ms. Russo continued, “We are fortunate to have a proven leader of David
Hess’ caliber to step into the CEO role on an interim basis while the
Board conducts its search process for a permanent CEO. We are confident
that David’s abilities and experience will ensure a smooth transition
for the benefit of all of our stakeholders.”
Mr. Hess said, “I look forward to working closely with the Board, senior
leadership team and our dedicated and hard-working employees. Klaus and
the Arconic team have built a great company and over the coming months
my focus will be on continuing to serve our customers seamlessly, and
deliver for our shareholders.”
Mr. Kleinfeld stepped down as Chair and CEO by mutual agreement after
the Board learned that, without consultation with or authorization by
the Board, he had sent a letter directly to a senior officer of Elliott
Management that the Board determined showed poor judgment.
this decision was not made in response to the proxy fight or Elliott
Management’s criticisms of the Company’s strategy, leadership or
performance and is not in any way related to the financials or records
of the Company. The Board continues to believe that under Mr.
Kleinfeld’s leadership, the Company successfully executed a
transformative vision and improved business performance amid a complex
market environment, and the Board reaffirms the strategy developed under
Mr. Kleinfeld’s leadership and shared with our investors, customers and
Elliott Management’s central objective – a CEO change – has been
realized at Arconic. With the completion of Arconic’s transformative
separation transaction last November, the substantial refreshment of its
Board composition with seven of its twelve directors having joined the
Board since the beginning of last year, and now the departure of Mr.
Kleinfeld as CEO and Chair of the Board, it is clear that the Company
has recently undergone a tremendous amount of change. It is Elliott
Management's decision whether to continue to burden Arconic and its
shareholders with its highly disruptive and distracting proxy fight, or
to support Arconic in facilitating an effective CEO search and a strong