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Alcoa names William Oplinger new President, CEO

Aluminum giant Alcoa (AA) has named William Oplinger as the company's new President and CEO. Oplinger had been the company's chief operating officer. Former CEO Roy Harvey will serve as a Strategic Advisor to the CEO through the end of the year. Yahoo Finance Live breaks down the announcement.

For more expert insight and the latest market action, click here to watch this full episode of Yahoo Finance Live.

Video transcript

- Shares are on the move this morning, off just about over 1% right now after the US aluminum producer appointed a new president and CEO of the company. Former COO William Oplinger is going to be succeeding Roy Harvey. Now, Oplinger has been with Alcoa since 2016, certainly very familiar with the business.

And this change at the top coming at a very critical time here for the industry overall, Brad, because we have seen demand pressure prices just a bit when it comes to aluminum, exactly what we're seeing play out here in the US economy, but also on a global scale when we factor in Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the impact that that is having on the aluminum industry.

But Oplinger again, had served as Alcoa's Chief Operations Officer since February, before that was a CFO from November of 2016 to February of this year. So certainly, he has years of experience at Alcoa.

BRAD SMITH: Yeah. This is going to be a big transition here, and especially, as you noted, this is a person that had been at the top of Alcoa, Roy Harvey, since the company had gone public here. Now, take a look at the year-to-date performance. I think, this is the six-month performance. Year to date, the company is down by about 36%, 37%. Our team expertly got that up on the screen for our viewers there.

But you think about the environment-- and you were laying some of this out-- they said off of this most recent second quarter, we saw lower pricing during the second quarter. Global teams had to work to address short-term challenges and drive operational improvements. So when is the improvement? Investors might be right to ask here.

Well, they expect to see financial improvement in the third quarter of 2023 as the alumina and aluminum segments are both forecast to have reduced costs for raw materials and production. For the first half of the year, though they've kept up with some solid demand, they say, for some value-add aluminum products.

But again, if you just look at the financials coming off of this most recent quarter, they had seen a gain for the comparable second quarter in 2022, or a net income gain, of about $549 million. That was a loss this year of $102 million. A sequential improvement versus the first quarter of this year, but still a loss compared to the year-over-year there.