Global leadership shake-up for Cliffs

CLIFFS Natural Resources is making some significant adjustments to its leadership beginning October 1, appointing chief financial officer Laurie Brlas as executive vice president and president of global operations to succeed a retiring Duncan Price.
Global leadership shake-up for Cliffs Global leadership shake-up for Cliffs Global leadership shake-up for Cliffs Global leadership shake-up for Cliffs Global leadership shake-up for Cliffs

Cliffs Natural Resources chairman and president Joseph Carrabba.

Donna Schmidt

The company said Thursday that Brlas, who was also Cliffs’ vice president of finance and administration, will report directly to chairman, president and chief executive officer Joseph Carrabba and will have operating responsibility for all minerals and other products produced by the company.

The role will have responsibility for all mining operations in Cliffs' global portfolio, including iron ore and coal interests as well as its emerging operating assets and development projects in iron ore and ferrochrome.

“Brlas will build on her strength of disciplined large-scale project management and allow for prudent capital allocation and cost management particularly essential in the global economy,” the company said, adding that she would lead Cliffs’ efforts in safety, capital projects, cost management, continuous improvement and information technology.

The company’s China arm has also gained new executive leadership with the selection of P Kelly Tompkins as executive vice president for legal, government affairs and sustainability and chief legal officer and president.

The expansion to Tompkins' role, Cliffs officials said, would provide it executive-level focus on the company’s evolving business relationships in China.

Tomkins will also maintain responsibility for Cliffs' legal, environmental, government and sustainability activities worldwide.

Additionally, Terrance Paradie has been named Cliffs’ new senior vice president and CFO after formally holding the seat of senior vice president and assistant general manager for the company’s Michigan operations.

Paradie was previously corporate controller and chief accounting officer for Cliffs’ global presence.

He will now assume executive responsibility for all finance, accounting, tax and treasury efforts.

Taking over the role of senior vice president of corporate strategy and communications and chief strategy officer is Steven Raguz.

Formerly senior vice president of corporate strategy and treasurer, Raguz will manage the company's strategy development and define long-term strategic priorities.

Taking over for Raguz in his former seat will be Matthew Bittner. Bittner, formerly assistant treasurer, will report to Paradie.

Lastly, the producer appointed James Michaud to senior vice president of human resources and chief human resources officer.

Formerly senior vice president of human resources, Michaud will maintain core responsibilities of oversight for the company’s global human resources, talent management, organizational development, compensation and benefits issues.

Cliffs said executive vice president and president of global commercial Don Gallagher would remain on its leadership team, as would senior vice president of global business development Cliff Smith.

“I believe these changes reposition our senior team toward our most critical current and future business requirements,” Carrabba said.

“As we transition Cliffs' strategic focus from [mergers and acquisitions] activities to executing organic growth projects, these executive changes will drive excellence in project execution, ensure operational stability and provide for a more disciplined approach to capital allocation and cost management.”