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Lourenco Goncalves to Head Cliff’s Natural Resources

Written by Sandy Williams

Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. has appointed Lourenco Goncalves as Chairman, President and CEO, effective immediately. Goncalves, former CEO of Metals USA holdings, will replace Cliff’s Chairman Jim Kirsch and CEO Gary Halverson.

“I am honored by the opportunity to lead Cliffs into its next chapter, with a keen focus on improving performance and restoring shareholder value,” said Mr. Goncalves. “Cliffs has a unique position of strength in iron ore in the Great Lakes region, many valuable assets in other sectors elsewhere in the US and around the world, and talented employees at all levels of the company. I look forward to working closely with all of my fellow Directors to refocus Cliffs on a new strategic path that builds on those strengths, and I am grateful to my fellow shareholders for the vote of confidence they have placed in us. While there is much to be done and many challenges ahead of us, there is also much promise. I can assure all of our stakeholders we are hitting the ground running.”

The appointment of Goncalves was part of a move by activist investor Casablanca Capital, who won majority control of Cliff’s board after a vote approved all six of its nominees last month. Casablanca, which owns 5.2 percent of the shares, has urged a restructuring of Cleveland based Cliffs including raising its dividend and selling off foreign assets. The iron ore producer reported a net loss of $1.9 million in the second quarter of 2014 compared to a profit of $133.1 million in 2Q 2013.

“There is a clear desire for positive change at Cliffs,” said Casablanca in a statement following the shareholders vote, “and we are gratified by the mandate shareholders have given the new Board to reinvigorate the Company and refocus its strategy to improve performance and restore value.

Richard K. Riederer, Director of the Company since 2002, was re-elected to that position during the Annual Meeting.


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