Major Businesses: United States Steel Corporation

About the major world business United States Steel Corporation, history, headquarters, size, and leader.




Lay of the Land: U.S. Steel's corporate headquarters are located in Wilmington, Del. Its general office is in New York City and it also has an office in Pittsburgh, Pa. About half of the company's raw steel production is produced by plants in Ohio, southwestern Pennsylvania, and the Delaware Valley; a third is produced by plants in the Chicago area; and the rest is produced by plants in Alabama, Texas, Utah, and southern California.

Size: U.S. Steel is the largest steel producer in the U.S., the 14th-largest industrial corporation in the country, and the 26th-largest industrial corporation in the world.

Population: 160,000 employees.

Who Rules: U.S. Steel's day-to-day policy decisions are made by Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Edgar B. Speer and Pres. David M. Roderick. The company's officers are elected by an 18-member board of directors that includes three officers, a former chairman of the board, and a former president of U.S. Steel. The board also includes the chairmen of Aetna Life and Casualty Company, American Telephone and Telegraph Company, Bell Telephone of Canada, Kraft Inc., R. H. Macy & Company, Inc., Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company, and Texas Instruments; and the former chairmen of the International Nickel Company of Canada, Ltd, The Southern Company, and the Federal Reserve Board. The board of directors is elected by 243,000 stockholders owning 82 million shares.

Who REALLY Rules: U.S. Steel boasts that no individual owns as much as 2/10 of 1% of its common stock. However, individuals own less than half of the company's stock. The rest is owned by institutional investors such as insurance companies, brokers, and investment companies. They are the only ones with the ability to amass large enough blocks of stock to control the outcome of votes by stockholders.

Production of steel produces large amounts of air pollution and pollutes water with toxic chemicals such as cyanide. U.S. Steel has spent some money to put pollution-control equipment in its plants, but the company prefers to fight against the controls in court. U.S. Steel's position was stated by Executive Vice-President for Engineering and Research J. Robert Ferguson, Jr., who told Business Week, "We tend to litigate rather than knuckle under." U.S. Steel paid no income tax in 1976.

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