The decision, made by mutual agreement with the Arconic board, came after Kleinfeld was criticised for sending a letter to activist shareholder Elliott Management without the prior knowledge or authorisation of the Arconic board.
What was in that letter is not known, and Elliott has not yet commented. But Arconic felt the move “showed poor judgement,” leading to the decision for Kleinfeld to fall on his sword and end a decade-long career at the US conglomerate.
It was not forced; the board and the outgoing ceo reached the decision for him to step down together, people familiar with the matter said.
In fact, the company has been quick to stand by Kleinfeld’s accomplishments during his tenure, including growing Alcoa Inc after the global financial crisis and separating it into Alcoa Corp and Arconic in...