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January 2, 2001

Alain Belda Takes the Helm as Alcoa Chairman and Continues as Chief Executive Officer; Chairman Paul O'Neill Retires

PITTSBURGH--January 2, 2001-- Alain J. P. Belda, 57, has become Alcoa chairman, in addition to chief executive officer, succeeding Paul H. O'Neill, 65, who retired as chairman of the company on January 1, 2001. Mr. O'Neill also retired as an Alcoa director. The Board of Directors of Alcoa announced Mr. Belda's appointment and Mr. O'Neill's retirement in May 1999.

Biographical information on the two gentlemen follows:

Alain Belda
Mr. Belda had been Alcoa's president and chief executive officer since May 1999. From 1997 to 1999 he was president and chief operating officer, with responsibility for all operating activities. He was elected vice chairman in 1995, and executive vice president in 1994.

He joined Alcoa in 1969 at the company's Brazilian affiliate, Alcoa Aluminio, and held a number of financial and planning positions there until being named Alcoa Aluminio president in 1979. He later assumed the additional responsibility for Alcoa's Latin American operations. In 1982 he was elected a vice president of Alcoa, the parent company.

In addition to being chairman of Alcoa's board of directors, Mr. Belda is a director of Citigroup, DuPont and the Ford Foundation.

He was born in Meknes, French Morocco and became a Brazilian citizen in 1982. Mr. Belda studied in Brazil and Canada and graduated from MacKenzie University in Brazil with a degree in business administration.

Paul O'Neill
Mr. O'Neill served as Alcoa's chairman and chief executive officer from June 1987 until May 1999 and continued as chairman from 1999 until his retirement in 2001. He had been a director of the company since 1986.

When he was named chairman and CEO in 1987, he was the first person from outside the company ever elected to Alcoa's top post. At that time he was president of International Paper Company in New York.

Mr. O'Neill joined IP in 1977 as vice president - planning, and was subsequently named senior vice president - planning and finance, and in 1983, senior vice president of IP's paperboard and packaging segment. He became president in 1985.

Early in his career, Mr. O'Neill was an engineer for Morrison-Knudsen, Inc., in Anchorage, Alaska. He worked as a computer system analyst with the U. S. Veterans Administration from 1961 to 1966 and was a staff member of the Office of Management and Budget from 1967 to 1977. He was deputy director of the Ford Administration OMB from 1974 to 1977.

Mr. O'Neill holds a bachelor's degree in economics from Fresno State College in California and a master's degree in public administration from Indiana University. He has participated in graduate study programs in economics at Claremont Graduate University and George Washington University.

Editorial Contact:
Joyce A. Saltzman

Investor Relations:
Charles D. McLane