Klaus Kleinfeld Out as Chairman and CEO of Arconic

Arconic Inc ARNC.N said on Monday Chief Executive Klaus Kleinfeld resigned after the USA specialty metals maker found he sent a letter in "poor judgment" to Elliott Management, with whom it is embroiled in a proxy war and which used the chance to again criticize the company's board. The contents of the letter are still unknown. An Arconic spokeswoman declined to say what was in the letter.

The company said Kleinfeld stepped down after the board learned that he had sent a letter to a senior officer of Elliott Management without consultation with the board.

Kleinfeld had been singled out by Elliott, which criticized his leadership and proposed a plan to boost the metal parts maker's valuation. Alcoa Corp's shares had risen 34.7 percent.

Elliott said the company's statement was to defend Kleinfeld and "should be enough to prove that Arconic's Board simply lacks the judgment to steward Arconic". But they pared those gains and closed just 3 percent higher after traders realized that Kleinfeld's resignation did not necessarily mean the board is now going to go along with Elliott's plan.

A U.S. boss today stood down from his position following a campaign by activist investor Elliott Management.

The activist firm said it intends to continue its pursuit of "fundamental Board-level change as vigorously as ever".

- David Hess, a former senior executive at United Technologies who joined the board in March, was appointed interim CEO. She was lead director on the Arconic board since it separated from Alcoa Inc.

Elliott has said that Lawson should be a leading candidate for the top job at Arconic.

  • Todd Kelly