U.S. Steel exec out after company loses billions in value; still given $1.4 million payout

U.S. Steel exec out after company loses billions in value; still given $1.4 million payout
click to enlarge U.S. Steel headquarters in Downtown Pittsburgh - CP PHOTO: RYAN DETO

CP photo: Ryan Deto

U.S. Steel headquarters in Downtown Pittsburgh

As reported in July, U.S. Steel lost about 70 percent of its market value over the previous 16 months. That equates to about a $5.5 billion hit for Pittsburgh’s largest steel company. The losses were blamed on tariffs instituted by President Donald Trump, which U.S. Steel executives had supported.

Since then, things haven't gotten much better for U.S. Steel financially. Stocks for the large steel maker have dropped precipitously, and the company idled plants in Michigan and Indiana in 2018.

Yesterday, it was announced that Kevin Bradley would be stepping down as Chief Financial Officer for U.S. Steel. According to financial magazine Barron's, Bradley’s nearly two-year tenure coincided with U.S. Steel’s stock dropping by about 50 percent. By comparison, the company’s chief rival, Nucor, saw its stock only drop by about 11 percent.

However, Bradley is still receiving a $1.4 million payout as part of his exit. Barron's also reported he will receive an additional $50,000 for expenses as part of his departure. U.S. Steel didn’t respond to Barron’s when asked for comment on Bradley’s pay package.

Bradley will resign effective Nov. 4, according to Yahoo Finance. Christine Breves will take over as CFO.

“Kevin’s leadership improved the company’s balance sheet and enabled the company’s transformation to a world competitive ‘best of both’ integrated and mini mill technology company,” said U.S. Steel CEO David Burritt in a press release.

Before the tariffs took full effect this year, U.S. Steel reported a large fourth-quarter profit last year, netting $592 million.

In May, the company announced $1 billion upgrades to its facilities in West Mifflin, Braddock, and Clairton. These three facilities will eventually become the central source for high-strength, lightweight steel used for the automobile sector.

But the upgrade will also lead to an increase in efficiency, and experts told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that U.S. Steel will likely cut jobs at the Mon Valley facilities in the future.

U.S. Steel also invested $700 million this month in Big River Steel, in an effort to enter the mini mill technology sector. Barron’s reported that Burritt “seems to believe radical steps are needed to earn higher profits.”