Mario Longhi is faced with the daunting task of rebuilding a US Steel afflicted with financial difficulties and labor problems under former CEO John Surma. US Steel has lost money in five of the past seven quarters, most recently $78 million in the second quarter of 2013. When the mantle is passed on September 1, Longhi says his focus will be on cutting costs that will ensure the long term survival of US Steel.
Under new initiative Project Carnegie, Longhi and U.S. Steel will look for cost cutting measures that will improve business operations and position the company “to deliver best results possible, regardless of market conditions.”
In remarks to business leaders in Pittsburgh last week, Longhi said U.S. Steel will emphasize a new way of doing business.
“It is not a short-term cost-cutting exercise, it requires everyone to think different, think big and accept change,” said Longhi.
Longhi said the company will pursue opportunities in technology and in auto manufacturing and drilling. US Steel has expanded OCTG production at its Lorain, Ohio plant to take advantage of shale drilling in the Northeastern U.S. and recently offered Chrysler a solution for weight reduction that could cut vehicle weight as much as 25-30 percent. The steel industry is much more than blast furnaces, he said, “it is profoundly more scientific than just that.”
Longhi’s background at Alcoa and Gerdau Ameristeel gives him the experience needed to turn US Steel back into an American powerhouse.
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