LEADERSHIP BATTLE

Klaus Kleinfeld Ousted as Arconic CEO

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The king has been dethroned. Source: Reuters

Klaus Kleinfeld, the most well-known German executive in the United States, resigned his position as chairman and chief executive at the aluminum parts maker Arconic on Monday after a long battle with activist shareholders.

The resignation marks the end of Mr. Kleinfeld’s long struggle with activist investor Paul Singer and his hedge fund Elliot Management, which owns a 13.2 percent stake in Arconic.

The Arconic board said Mr. Kleinfeld had shown “poor judgment” by sending a letter directly to a senior officer at Elliot Management without consulting Arconic’s board.

“Importantly, this decision was not made in response to the proxy fight or Elliott Management’s criticisms of the company’s strategy, leadership or performance and is not in any way related to the financials or records of the company,” Arconic said in a press release.

The company said Mr. Kleinfeld had stepped down by “mutual consent.” In the same release, the 59-year-old German said Arconic was “well positioned for the next phase,” adding: “Together we have accomplished a lot.”

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