Aluminium Turnaround


  • $4 bn global downstream aluminum producer with 3 business units, 60 plants and 5,000 employees
  • Eroding margins and global crisis lead to Chapter 11 bankruptcy
  • History of mergers with varying cultures and performance
  • Previous improvement successes were not sustained

Transformational Goals

  • Emerge from Chapter 11 by reducing costs 7%
  • Deliver $300m EBITDA by 2013 and $600M by 2016
  • Promote “one company” based on a common culture and operating system
  • Become market leader in key segments


Transformation based on 4 core practices

Set aspirations grounded in context

  • Recognition of cultural weaknesses and wide ranging site performance convince leadership of the need for a central operating system

Align the senior team

  • Central Academy steers development and implementation of the operating system according to a 4 year master plan

Take a balanced approach

  • Operating System consists of a comprehensive framework embedding the target way of working and driving improvement programs across all functions

Design for scalability from the beginning

  • Central Academy has clear, high value proposition; Change leader career path designed to attract and retain top talent
  • Operating System designed, tested and adapted at two mega-sites as pilot before accelerated roll-out to all sites




    • Pilots delivered $120m of annual cost reduction
    • Company emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2011

$350m of EBITDA achieved in 2012


  • 3 year master plan coupled with Central Academy to build skills and long term sustainability
  • Site level master plans based on local business needs are owned by site managers and integrate all initiatives
  • Operating System provides a “one company” framework


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