AK Steel’s General Counsel to Step Down Following $1B Cleveland-Cliffs Acquisition

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Joe Alter, the general counsel and corporate secretary of Fortune 500 company AK Steel, announced Friday on LinkedIn that he will be leaving the Ohio-based steelmaker in the next few weeks. His announcement follows the closing of Cleveland-Cliff’s $1 billion acquisition of AK Steel earlier in March.

Alter, who joined AK Steel’s legal department almost 11 years ago, was elevated to the general counsel role in May 2014. Prior to joining AK Steel, Alter was corporate counsel with information management company Convergys, where he was the principal legal counsel on the company’s largest business line, according to his LinkedIn profile.

“It has been my privilege to be part of a great company and to collaborate with such fantastic employees, particularly as General Counsel and a member of the Executive leadership team during the past six years. I know the company has a bright future ahead as part of Cleveland-Cliffs, Inc. and I'm excited about its prospects,” Alter wrote on LinkedIn.

The acquisition of AK Steel by Cleveland-Cliffs, one of the largest producers of iron ore and steel in North America, creates a vertically integrated steel company that analysts say will achieve cost-savings due to synergies, and ensure revenue stability since AK Steel is one of Cleveland-Cliff’s largest customers. AK Steel has been one of the hardest-hit companies in the space following the prolonged downturn in the steel industry in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. Its stock price has lost over 90% of its value over the past decade from its high in 2008.

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