Severstal NA Chief Operating Officer Stepping Down
According to a recent Baltimore Brew blog posting by writer Mark Reuter the Severstal NA Chief Operating Officer (COO) is leaving the company. The following is the original Baltimore Brew posting (www.baltimorebrew.com):
"Alexander Pogozhev, Severstal’s chief operating officer who helped oversee the current idling of Sparrows Point, is leaving the steelmaker “to pursue other opportunities” effective today, according to a memo issued internally yesterday.
Pogozhev was the leader of a team of Severstal engineers, known as “the Russians” by Sparrows Point employees, who have dominated decision-making at the Baltimore county mill for the last 16 months.
He was involved in ordering changes in the mix of iron ore at the “L” blast furnace that is the subject of a probe by the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE). He also was part of the decision to idle both the L furnace and most finishing operations that, when completed, will leave at least 1,000 steelworkers on layoff.
With degrees in machinery technology and financial management, Pogozhev started working for Severstal in 1991. He was transferred to the U.S. in 2008 when company owner, Alexei Mordashov, purchased Sparrows Point and two Ohio mills as part of his push into American steel production.
In a memo to staff yesterday, Sergei Kuznetsov, CEO of Severstal North America, said Pogozhev “brought critical thinking skills, focus on target setting and problem-solving, and a disciplined approach to our operations.”
The memo continued: “Alexander relentlessly attacked critical issues, helping us weather challenging economical conditions and lay [a] strong foundation for the future.”
High Executive Turnover
According to the memo, Pogozhev’s duties will be handled by his staff, which will report directly to Kuznetsov, who in turn reports to Mordashov, a resident of Moscow.
Severstal North America has been subject to rapid executive turnover in the last two years.
This includes three different CEOs for North American operations in 2009, the firing of Sparrows Point general manager Thomas J. Russo last March, and the replacement of Severstal spokesperson Bette Kovach in August." (Source: Mark Reuter, Baltimore Brew)
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