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U. S. Steel Announces Management Change at Fairfield Works


PITTSBURGH, Dec. 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- United States Steel Corporation , announced today that Ladislav Halaj has been appointed general manager of Fairfield Works effective Jan. 1, succeeding Merle Stein, who will retire after 38 years of service with the company.

"Throughout his long and distinguished career, Merle has played essential roles in some of our company's most important milestones, including being part of the first post-acquisition management teams at both U. S. Steel Kosice and Granite City Works," said Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer John H. Goodish.

In his new position, Halaj will be responsible for day-to-day operations of Fairfield Works' flat-rolled operations, which has an annual raw steelmaking capability of 2.4 million net tons. Halaj will report to Michael S. Williams, vice president-Operations, Midwest.

"With proven abilities as both an operator and a manager at some of U. S. Steel's largest facilities, we are confident that Ladislav will be able to build on the high standards established at Fairfield Works during Merle's tenure," said Goodish.

Halaj, 47 and a native of Kosice, Slovakia, began his steelmaking career in 1987 as a hydraulic system specialist in the cold mills and pickling lines at VSZ a.s. In 1992, he left VSZ to work for other steel companies including Sidor in Venezuela. In 1998, Halaj was appointed manager-mechanical maintenance of VSZ U. S. Steel, a.s., a joint venture of U. S. Steel and VSZ, and was named deputy operations director in 1999. He was advanced to general manager-central maintenance U. S. Steel Kosice in 2000, the year U. S. Steel acquired the steelmaking operations of VSZ. Halaj was appointed general manager-finishing in 2003.

In 2005, Halaj moved to the United States when he was named division manager-sheet products at U. S. Steel's Midwest Plant, a finishing facility in Portage, Ind. He advanced to division manager-sheet products at Gary Works in 2006 and was appointed to his most recent position, plant manager-finishing operations at Gary Works, in 2007.

Halaj is a 1986 graduate of the Mechanical Faculty of the Technical University of Kosice. He and his wife, Maria Halajova, and their two children will relocate to the Fairfield area.

Stein, a native of Duquesne, Pa., began his U. S. Steel career in 1970 at the company's former National Plant in McKeesport, Pa. In 1984, he was transferred to Fairfield Works, where he held several positions in tubular and sheet operations, including management of the $70 million hot strip mill modernization project in 1987. From 1994 to 2001, he served as manager of the seamless tubular mill, which established new safety, shipment, production and yield records under his leadership.

As U. S. Steel acquired major operations domestically and in Central Europe, Stein assumed two key positions managing the transition of operational leadership to U. S. Steel. The first assignment, in 2001, was at U. S. Steel Kosice in the Slovak Republic, where he served as vice president of operations following the acquisition of the facility in late 2000. In 2003, he served on U. S. Steel's transition team for acquiring National Steel assets, and once the acquisition was finalized, Stein was named general manager of Granite City Works in Granite City, Ill., one of the four operations included in the purchase. Stein has served as general manager at Fairfield Works since March 2006.

Stein earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania in 1971.

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SOURCE: U. S. Steel

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