Shares of Arconic Inc. surged 5.2% in premarket trade Monday, after the company said Chief Executive Klaus Kleinfeld was leaving the company after he used "poor judgment" by contacting an activist investment without authorization. Arconic named board member David Hess as interim CEO, while lead director Patricia Russo was named interim chairman. The company said in a statement that Kleinfeld stepped down after the broad learned that he sent a letter directly to a senior officer at investor Elliott Management, which has been pushing for Kleinfeld to step down, and for four new board members. "Importantly, this decision was not made in response to the proxy fight or Elliott Management's criticisms of the company's strategy, leadership or performance and is not in any way related to the financials or records of the company," the company said in a statement. Kleinfeld was CEO of Alcoa Inc. since 2008, then became CEO of Arconic after he led the aluminum giant's separation into two companies. The stock had soared 40% year to date through Thursday, while the S&P 500 had gained 4%.
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