Lightweight metals leader Alcoa Inc. announced that it will appoint Ulrich “Rick” Schmidt, John Plant and Sean Mahoney to serve on the company’s board of directors, effective Feb. 5. These appointments will further strengthen the company and add valuable aerospace and automotive experience to the board as Alcoa prepares to separate into two independent companies in the second half of 2016. With these appointments, the Alcoa Board will be expanded to 15 directors.
“We are pleased to welcome Rick, John, and Sean to the Alcoa Board,” said Klaus Kleinfeld, chairman and CEO. “As we prepare to separate into two strong companies, we have been actively working to ensure each has a world-class board of directors focused on creating shareholder value. Each of our new directors is a high-caliber executive with a proven track record of success, and each brings valuable skills highly relevant to the markets we serve, including aerospace and automotive. We look forward to drawing on their expertise as we launch two independent companies positioned for success.”
Schmidt is the former executive vice president and chief financial officer of Spirit Aerosystems Holdings Inc. He served on the board of directors of Precision Castparts Corp. from 2007 until January 2016. Schmidt joined Spirit Aerosystems from Goodrich Corp. in 2005, where he served as executive vice president and chief financial officer from 2000 to 2005 and as vice president, finance and business development, Goodrich Aerospace from 1994 to 2000. Prior to joining Goodrich, he held senior level roles at a variety of companies, including Invensys Limited, Everest & Jennings International Limited and Argo-Tech Corporation. Schmidt received his undergraduate degree and a Master of Business Administration from Michigan State University.
Plant is the former chairman of the board, president and CEO of TRW Automotive, which was acquired by ZF Friedrichshafen AG in May 2015. Under his leadership, TRW employed more than 65,000 people in approximately 190 major facilities around the world and was ranked among the top 10 automotive suppliers globally. Plant was a co-member of the CEO of TRW Inc. from 2001 to 2003 and an executive vice president of TRW from the company’s 1999 acquisition of Lucas Varity to 2003. Previously, Plant was president of Lucas Varity Automotive and managing director of the Electrical and Electronic division from 1991 through 1997. Plant is a member of the board of directors of Masco Corp., Gates Corp. and Jabil Circuit Corp. He also is a vice chairman of the Washington-based Kennedy Center Corporate Fund Board, and a board member of the Automotive Safety Council. A graduate of the University of Birmingham, Plant holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree in economics, accounting and law, and was bestowed an honorary Doctorate in 2014. Plant is also a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants.
Mahoney has extensive experience in capital markets and business strategy across a wide variety of companies and sectors, including industrial and automotive. He is a private investor with more than two decades of experience in investment banking and finance. Mahoney currently serves on the boards of Delphi Automotive plc, Cooper-Standard Holdings Inc. and Formula One Holdings, as well as the post-bankruptcy board of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. Mahoney spent 17 years in investment banking at Goldman, Sachs & Co., where he was a partner and head of the Financial Sponsors Group, followed by four years at Deutsche Bank Securities, where he served as vice chairman, Global Banking. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago, and his graduate degree from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.
As previously announced, Alcoa plans to separate into two publicly traded companies in the second half of 2016. The Upstream company will comprise five strong business units that today make up Global Primary Products: Bauxite, Alumina, Aluminum, Cast Products and Energy. The innovation and technology-driven Value-Add company will include the Global Rolled Products, Engineered Products and Solutions, and Transportation and Construction Solutions businesses. As the company prepares to implement the separation, the board of directors will work closely with Alcoa’s management team in a comprehensive review of its portfolio, operations, profitability drivers and cost structure, and will update the market at the appropriate time.