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Wheeling Gets New Chairman, CEO Resigns

March 19, 1987|DANIEL AKST

Van Nuys businessman Lloyd C. Lubensky has taken over as chairman of Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel in yet another management shake-up at the Pittsburgh-based company, which is operating under bankruptcy court protection.

Wheeling-Pittsburgh, which describes itself as the nation's eighth-largest steelmaker, also said George A. Ferris resigned as vice chairman and CEO, a post he had held since September, 1985. A company spokesman said Ferris, 70, wanted to spend more time with his family.

Lubensky, 64, has been a director since October, 1985, and bought a controlling 34.2% interest in Wheeling-Pittsburgh from industrialist Allen Paulson on Dec. 31. Paulson, an old friend of Lubensky, paid $50 million for the shares in 1983 and 1984 but sold them to Lubensky for $100,000, saying he wanted to offset capital gains for tax purposes. Paulson also resigned as chairman.

Only last month, Wheeling-Pittsburgh said it would be led by a three-man executive committee of directors Ferris, Lubensky and John P. Innes. But Lubensky said in a statement that more changes are in the offing. Wheeling-Pittsburgh is "carefully analyzing its management structure and personnel with the view to seeking several new outside directors and a new chief executive officer," he said.

Lubensky is president of American Jet Industries, a surplus aircraft parts concern. He bought it from Paulson in 1982 and sold it to Ryder System in August.

A Wheeling-Pittsburgh spokesman said day-to-day operations will remain in the hands of the president and chief operating officer, John D. Fry, and that Lubensky, who could not be reached for comment, is not expected to move to Pittsburgh.

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