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Mario Longhi out as CEO of US Steel

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By KEVIN NEVERS

Mario Longhi is out as CEO of U.S. Steel Corporation (USS).

Longhi tendered his resignation, effective June 30, on Monday, although he’ll remain on the Board of Directors and serve as an “employee of the company, providing transitional support, until his retirement,” according to a statement released after deadline on Wednesday.

Succeeding Longhi as CEO will be David Burritt, who currently serves as the company’s president and chief operations officer.

The company’s announcement came three weeks after USS posted a net loss of $180 million in the first quarter of 2017.

“Mario played a key role in driving the company’s transformation, including the successful implementation of The Carnegie Way,” Board Chair David Sutherland said. “His impact was felt across our company and the steel industry through his efforts in Washington, D.C., to combat unfair trade and create a level playing field. We thank him for his dedication to U. S. Steel.”

“When I came to the company, I envisioned a five-year tenure, which I have completed,” Longhi said. “I am proud of the progress we have made, which solely resides on the people of this company. U. S. Steel employees dug in, tackled every challenge, and never stopped looking for ways to improve everything they could control. I am fortunate to have spent five years working with them.”

Longhi began his career at U. S. Steel in 2012 as executive vice president and chief operating officer. In 2013 he was promoted to president and CEO and elected to the company’s board, at which time he launched and oversaw “a wide-ranging business transformation” dubbed The Carnegie Way, which USS said “generated marked cultural and operational improvements.”

Among the moves which USS attributed directly to The Carnegie Way:

* A reduction, announced in 2014, of the workforce involved in “operations and business-support functions,” although the company declined at the time to identify any target number or to say whether the reductions were to be achieved through attrition, layoffs, or early buyouts.

* A 25-percent downsizing, confirmed in 2016, of the company’s non-represented, salaried workforce.

* The permanent closure, announced in 2015, of coke batteries at Gary Works and the Granite City, Ill., Works, affecting approximately 475 workers.

* And the permanent suspension of steelmaking operations, also announced in 2015, at the Fairfield, Ala., Works, affecting 1,110 workers.

“We believe that without the benefits realized through our Carnegie Way initiatives in 2014 and 2015, the corporation would have been much more negatively impacted by market headwinds, including high levels of imports and low global commodity prices,” USS said in April 2016.

Longhi’s tenure was marked by a toxic mix of plunging oil prices--which devastated the company’s formerly profitable tubular sector and impacted as well those facilities which supplied the tubular operations--as well as by a strong U.S. dollar and surging imports of foreign steel.

In 2016, for instance, the average realized price per net ton of flat-rolled was $666, down 14 percent from a four-year high in 2014 of $772 per net ton. Also in 2016, the company shipped a total of 14.9 million net tons, down 27 percent from the four-year high in 2013 of 20.4 million net tons.

Of Longhi’s four years at the helm, only one was profitable: 2014, with USS posting a net income of $102 million. Net losses over those four years, however, totaled $3.583 billion.

 

 

Posted 5/11/2017

 
 
 
 

 

 

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