U.S. Steel Hires Ex-Gerdau Executive Longhi as COO

July 2 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. Steel Corp., the country’s largest producer of the metal by volume, hired former Gerdau Ameristeel Corp. Chief Executive Officer Mario Longhi as executive vice president and chief operating officer.

Longhi, 58, will be responsible for Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel’s North American flat-rolled steel, tubular-steel and Central European operations, the company said today in a statement.

Longhi worked for six years at Gerdau Ameristeel, the U.S. subsidiary of Brazil’s Gerdau SA, and was CEO from 2006 to 2011, U.S. Steel said. Before joining Gerdau, he spent 23 years at U.S. aluminum producer Alcoa Inc. He joins U.S. Steel after domestic steel prices dropped this year amid excess production capacity and rising imports. Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services said June 29 it may cut the company’s credit from its current BB rating, two levels below investment grade.

“The global steel sector is facing one of the most complex and dynamic economic environments in recent decades, which places increasing strategic and operating demands on our company as we continue to execute our longer term business strategy,” U.S. Steel CEO John Surma said in the statement.

U.S. Steel also said it appointed George F. Babcoke, Douglas R. Matthews and Michael S. Williams to the company’s executive management committee.

To contact the reporter on this story: Simon Casey in New York at scasey4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Simon Casey at scasey4@bloomberg.net