Goncalves named Cliffs’ new chairman, president and CEO

ISHPEMING – Cliffs Natural Resources has a new chairman, president and CEO.

The mining company announced in a press release Thursday that its board of directors has appointed Lourenco Goncalves to all three positions, effective immediately.

The decision comes a little more than a week after hedge fund Casablanca Capital announced it had placed all six of its director nominees, including Goncalves, on Cliffs’ 11-person board, effectively giving Casablanca control of the company.

“I am honored by the opportunity to lead Cliffs into its next chapter, with a keen focus on improving performance and restoring shareholder value,” Goncalves said in the press release.

“Cliffs has a unique position of strength in iron ore in the Great Lakes region, many valuable assets in other sectors elsewhere in the U.S. 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.”

Casablanca’s nominees were elected by proxy vote July 29 after six months of back-and-forth press releases to shareholders from the hedge fund’s co-general managers Donald Drapkin and Douglas Taylor and Cliffs management regarding how best to move Cliffs into the future.