February 6, 2019 / 1:13 PM / 14 days ago

Arconic Chairman John Plant takes additional role of CEO

(Reuters) - U.S. aluminum products maker Arconic Inc said Chairman John Plant will take on the additional role of chief executive officer on Wednesday, weeks after it rejected a takeover bid by private equity firm Apollo Global Management.

Shares of the company, which counts top planemakers Boeing Co and Airbus SE among its customers, were down 1.6 percent at $18.50.

Plant will replace former General Electric veteran Chip Blankenship, who assumed the role early last year.

Blankenship had succeeded former CEO Klaus Kleinfeld, who resigned in April 2017 after it was found he sent a letter in “poor judgment” to biggest shareholder Elliott Management Corp, with whom the company was embroiled in a proxy war.

Elliott had a stake of about 10.7 percent in Arconic, as of Sept. 30, according to data from Refinitiv.

The hedge fund Elliott, which sits on the company’s board, had been trying to facilitate a sale of Arconic by helping to tackle potential legal liabilities stemming from its building and construction systems unit.

The unit had supplied the Reynobond PE panels used in the cladding of the Grenfell Tower apartment complex in London, England, where more than 70 people were killed in a 2017 blaze. (reut.rs/2Gwvfzs)

Though Arconic rejected the takeover bid, it continues to pursue sale of its building and construction systems unit, which makes facades, windows and framing products.

Arconic said Plant will serve as CEO for a period of one year, adding that it expects to provide an update on its portfolio review on Friday, when it announces its fourth-quarter results.

Plant previously served as the CEO of auto parts maker TRW Automotive from 2003 to 2015. The company also said Elmer Doty, a current director, will serve as chief operating officer.

Reporting by Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli

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