With the Arconic (ARNC) proxy vote nearing (recall from our note earlier this week that the shareholder meeting was rescheduled to May 25), we wanted to give members a brief update on the current state of affairs.
As a reminder, activist investor Elliott Management recently nominated four new directors: Christopher Ayers, Elmer Doty, Bernd Kessler, and Patrice Merrin. The nominees bring with them a combined 80 years of industry experience.
Ayers was formerly President and CEO of WireCo WorldGroup (in addition to being a former Alcoa executive and President of its Global Primary Products Business). Doty was formerly President and CEO of both Accudyne Industries and Vought Aircraft Industries. Kessler was previously CEO of SRTechnics, as well as President and CEO of MTU Maintenance, and he served as an executive of Honeywell International (HON) . Finally, Merrin has significant international business exposure and widespread board experience. She was formerly President and CEO of Luscar and currently serves as director at Glencore (GLNCY) , and Novadaq Technologies (NVDQ) . For those looking for additional information, you can read more about each of the nominees and view a short video presentation on Elliott Management's site here.
As we have noted in the past, we intend to vote in favor of Elliott Management's nominees. Given the recent departure of former CEO Klaus Kleinfeld, after a long and drawn out battle with Elliot Management, we believe it is time to give the activists' nominees a chance to spark new life into this company and infuse their much-needed industry experience into the culture of Arconic.
This is an important vote as the new board members will be vital in helping to select a new CEO. Recall, Elliott Management has suggested hiring former CEO of Spirit AeroSystems (SPR) , Larry Lawson, as Arconic's new CEO. By placing their nominees on the board, Elliott will be one step closer to achieving this goal.
Lawson did a fantastic turnaround job at Spirit and we are fully confident in his ability to unlock more value for shareholders should he become the eventual successor to Kleinfeld. Prior to Spirit, Mr. Lawson was President of Lockheed Martin's (LMT) Aeronautics company and Executive Vice President of both the F-22 and F-35 projects. We highly recommend reading Elliot's case for Lawson here.
While we are confident that Elliott Management has a clear and direct vision for the future of Arconic, we will continue to assess each new piece of information we receive until we get closer to the shareholder vote.
Further bolstering our conviction in Elliott's plans, Glass, Lewis & Co., an independent proxy advisory firm that advises shareholder communities on these types of votes, recommended that all shareholders vote in favor Elliott's board nominees. Glass Lewis is one of two proxy advisory firms that institutional investors rely on for premium, unbiased research and advice regarding proxy votes. The other, Institutional Shareholder Services, has yet to issue its report, which we will be closely eying in the coming days and weeks.