Former Penn State trustee Surma to exit U.S. Steel CEO post

The Associated PressAugust 16, 2013 

— United States Steel Corp. said one of its top executives will take over as its new CEO in September as long-time leader John Surma transitions into retirement.

The steel company said Friday that it has elected Mario Longhi as its next chief executive. Longhi currently serves as the company’s president and chief operating officer.

Surma, 59, will stay on as an executive chairman through the end of the year and then he will retire from the company and board. He has been president of the company since March 2003, CEO since 2004, and chairman since February 2006.

Surma is probably better known in Centre County circles as the man behind the microphone on Nov. 9, 2011, when Penn State ousted hall of fame football coach Joe Paterno and university president Graham Spanier in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky grand jury indictment.

Surma, at the time the vice chairman of the board of trustees, handled the speaking chores at that evening’s press conference in place of then-chairman Steve Garban, and was flanked by several clearly stunned trustees.

Surma continued to serve on the board’s executive committee, but didn’t seek re-election last month for his seat representing business and industry interests.

Longhi, also 59, joined U.S. Steel as its COO in July 2012 and was named president of the company in June. He was CEO of Gerdau Ameristeel for five years and worked at Alcoa for 23 years in a variety of positions.

U.S. Steel also said David Burritt, 58, will become its next chief financial officer. Current CFO Gretchen Haggerty, 57, announced her intention to retire in July.

The company also said general counsel James Garraux, 60, will retire by the end of the year.

Shares of U.S. Steel lost 7 cents to $18.82 Friday and were unchanged in aftermarket trading.

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