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September 3, 2009

Alcoa Re-Aligns Global Primary Products Business to Sustain and Accelerate Improvements, Seize Growth Opportunities

NEW YORK--Alcoa (NYSE:AA) announced today a re-alignment of its Global Primary Products (GPP) business organization that will sustain and accelerate the many improvements the operations have made, and seize growth opportunities as the economy recovers.
  • Effective immediately, John Thuestad, 49, has been named to the new position of Chief Operating Officer for GPP Worldwide, reporting to Bernt Reitan, Alcoa Executive Vice President and President GPP. Thuestad was formerly President of GPP-United States.
  • Jean-Pierre Gilardeau, 57, has been appointed to the new post of President, GPP-North America and Iceland. He had been President, GPP-Canada and Iceland. He will report to John Thuestad and will be responsible for overseeing Primary operations in the U.S., Canada and Iceland.


Bob Wilt, VP of Operational Excellence in U.S. Primary, will replace Thuestad as President of GPP–United States. Pierre Morin, VP Operations GPP-Canada, will become President, GPP-Canada.

Bernt Reitan said, “These changes strengthen our Primary business on a both a global and regional basis, puts proven leaders in our key U.S. and Canadian markets, and further aligns our organization for continued success.”

Biographical information follows:

John Thuestad

John Thuestad joined Alcoa in 2008 as President, Global Primary Products – United States, with responsibility for Alcoa’s aluminum smelters in the U.S. and the alumina refinery in Pt. Comfort, Texas.

Before coming to Alcoa, John was President and CEO of Elkem AS of Norway, a metals and materials company, since 2005. Alcoa’s 45-year presence in Norway was established through a partnership with Elkem. Between 2000-2005, he was senior vice president, Aluminium Division and Managing Director of 50%-Alcoa owned Elkem Aluminium ANS.

John also held the CEO and President positions at Norzink, a zinc and aluminum fluoride producer owned 50/50 by Rio Tinto and Boliden. He was the Managing Director of Hydro Aluminium – Fundo Wheels, a producer of low pressure aluminum wheels for high end automakers such as BMW, Audi and Volvo.

John has held various production, marketing and project management positions at the Bremanger and Salten silicon plants, Sulitjelma copper smelter and Elkem Engineering Division in Norway. From 1988-1992 he was sales/marketing manager with Elkem Metals USA based in Pittsburgh.

John graduated from the Norwegian Technical University in 1983. He obtained an MBA degree from Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, in 1990.

Jean-Pierre Gilardeau

Jean-Pierre Gilardeau became President, Alcoa Global Primary Products for Canada and Iceland in 2007. He had been president of Alcoa’s Primary Metals facilities in Canada, which include Baie Comeau, ABI (Aluminerie de Bécancour Incorporée), Bécancour Rod Plant, and Aluminerie de Deschambault (Lauralco). With the addition of Iceland, Jean-Pierre has accountability for Alcoa’s first new primary smelter in 20 years, the Fjardaal smelter in Iceland, and is overseeing the feasibility study to establish a second smelter in Bakki, North Iceland.

Jean-Pierre joined Alcoa in 1998 as works manager of Eastalco (Maryland) Works in the U.S. In 2000, he was named president of Alcoa’s Northeast Smelting Region, with responsibility for the company’s Canadian and New York State aluminum smelters based in Quebec.

Prior to joining Alcoa, Jean-Pierre was general manager of the Alumax-owned Aluminerie Lauralco smelter in Quebec, a position he held for eight years. Alcoa acquired Alumax in 1998.

Earlier in his career, Jean-Pierre served in various management positions at Graybec Inc., a major lime and quarry operation in Joliette, Quebec, and was an engineer for the chemical division of Domtar, Inc.

Jean-Pierre holds an engineering degree from Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal.

About Alcoa

Alcoa is the world leader in the production and management of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum and alumina combined, through its active and growing participation in all major aspects of the industry. Alcoa serves the aerospace, automotive, packaging, building and construction, commercial transportation and industrial markets, bringing design, engineering, production and other capabilities of Alcoa's businesses to customers. In addition to aluminum products and components including flat-rolled products, hard alloy extrusions, and forgings, Alcoa also markets Alcoa® wheels, fastening systems, precision and investment castings, and building systems. The Company has been named one of the top most sustainable corporations in the world at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland and has been a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for seven consecutive years. Alcoa employs approximately 63,000 people in 31 countries across the world. More information can be found at www.alcoa.com