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On the Call: Alcoa CEO Klaus Kleinfeld


There has been some speculation recently that Alcoa might better off if it were divided into separate, distinct businesses.

The manufacturing giant mines and processes a raw material called alumina that is used in making aluminum. It also produces aluminum and aluminum products for customers, from beverage can packagers to auto manufacturers.

Alcoa Chairman and CEO Klaus Kleinfeld discussed the idea Tuesday during a call with analysts to review the company's third-quarter results.

QUESTION: What are your views about the idea of dividing Alcoa into separate businesses that focus on different aspects?

ANSWER: First thing is, I mean, we don't see any kind of rock that should remain unturned or that should not be questioned ... .

We actually put it on a test and say we have to prove for every business that we have that we are a better parent to that business than anybody else. And that basically brings out the question of what can Alcoa add in the business as an Alcoa advantage.

And the answers to that, I mean, are multifold. In principle, you see it coming in through technology. You see it in through procurement. It comes in through customer intimacy, customer reach, the talent management that we have, through the operating system.

That's how we can generate value and basically you see it very, very nicely in the performances that we have been able to generate in the downstream as well as the midstream business and how we are performing against bringing the upstream business down on the cost curve. So that's basically where we are in that.


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