Aluminum company Alcoa Inc. said on Wednesday it named Klaus Kleinfeld, the former president and chief executive officer of Siemens AG, as its president and chief operating officer.
The move appeared to set in place a succession plan that would put Kleinfeld in line to succeed current Alcoa Chief Executive Officer.
That's what we've been looking for some time, said analyst Charles Bradford of Bradford Research/Soleil.
Company watchers have speculated that Belda would retire next year, although Alcoa has not commented on the issue.
The board does in fact contemplate that he (Kleinfeld) will be a key part of an orderly transition, Alcoa spokesman Kevin Lowery said.
Belda, chief executive officer of Alcoa since 1999, faced criticism after it failed in a hostile bid to buy Canadian rival Alcan. Belda has also been targeted by some investors frustrated by Alcoa's near-flat stock performance in recent years.
In his new positions, Kleinfeld will have full responsibility for all operating activities of the company and will start the new job on October 1.
The position was created for Kleinfeld, who has been on Alcoa's board of directors since 2003.
Kleinfeld, 49, had led Siemens for two years, but announced in April he would leave the electronics conglomerate citing uncertainty about his future with the company after the board postponed a decision on whether to extend his contract.
Siemens has been rocked by allegations it disguised bribes as payments to consultants. Kleinfeld has not been suspected of taking part in any wrongdoing.
Alcoa's stock dipped on the news, dipping 0.9 percent to 34.54 in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
(Reporting by Matt Daily and Michael Erman)