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Several investors urge Arconic to oust CEO

| Monday, Jan. 30, 2017, 10:21 p.m.
Klaus Kleinfeld, chief executive officer of Alcoa Inc, listens during a panel discussion at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., in January.
Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg
Bloomberg
Klaus Kleinfeld, chief executive officer of Alcoa Inc, listens during a panel discussion at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., in January. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Arconic Inc.'s several biggest shareholders are pressing the company to remove Chief Executive Klaus Kleinfeld, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday, citing people familiar with the matter.

This comes months after metals company Alcoa Inc. split into two companies, Alcoa Corp. and Arconic, in November.

The shareholders are unhappy with Alcoa Inc.'s performance and blame Kleinfeld, the Journal reported.

The shareholder pressure on Arconic occurs after activist investor Elliott Management Corp. disclosed a 10 percent stake in the company inNovember, saying the stock is “dramatically undervalued.”

Arconic said in a statement that Kleinfeld's strategy of separating Alcoa has been “highly successful.”

“Management has been relentless in driving costs down and productivity up, taking $4.4 billion of cost out of Alcoa Inc from the time Kleinfeld joined, through separation,” Arconic said.

Elliott first invested in Alcoa in 2015, and struck a deal with the company prior to the spin-off, which avoided a proxy fight and allowed three Elliott-supported directors to serve on both companies' boards.

That agreement, struck in February, was a one-year truce between the two sides, which is expiring.

Alcoa Inc.'s split had come at a time when aluminum prices hovered around historic lows.

Arconic, which provides aluminum and titanium alloys used in planes and cars, will report quarterly results on Tuesday. The deadline for nominating shareholders to the company's board is Feb. 5.

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