Cliff's Natural Resources board appoints new CEO

By KBJR News 1

Cliff's Natural Resources board appoints new CEO

August 7, 2014 Updated Aug 7, 2014 at 9:22 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) -- Cliff's Natural Resources announced today that the mining company now has a new CEO.

This comes on the heels of a major shake–up in management after Cliffs was taken over by Casablanca Capital, a hedge fund from New York.

Lourenco Goncalves has been appointed by the Board of Directors to run the company, effective immediately.

This decision comes after six of Casablanca's nominees were elected to the board at its annual board meeting on July 29.

The move replaces Jim Kirsch. who served as Chairman since July of 2013; and Gary Halverson who has been CEO since February 2014.

That gave Casablanca control over the 11 member board.

In a statement, Goncalves says he plans to refocus Cliffs on a new strategic path that builds strengths.

According to our partners at Business North, in a March 6 letter to Cliff's board members, Casablanca proposed several options to re– structure the corporation, including possibly selling off some of Cliffs underperforming assets.

However, there is some good news for the Iron Range.

"They want to separate the U.S assets from the others in the world, particularly Canada and Asia," said Ron Brochu, co-publisher at Business North. "They think the U.S assets which includes the iron range properties perform well, but they think the other ones don't perform all that well."

The victory follows a seven month battle where Casablaca argued the iron ore company has deprived shareholders of value through imprudent acquisitions made by inexperienced board members.