Top Steel Company Supports Kelley’s Excellence
Michael G. Rippey BS’79
President and CEO, ArcelorMittal USA
ArcelorMittal is the world’s 39th largest company and the number one steel company on the planet. To run its U.S. division, they picked a Kelley graduate, naturally.
Michael G. Rippey, BS’79, is president and CEO of ArcelorMittal USA. He’s well-acquainted with Kelley’s strengths, and is the driving force behind the company’s continued support of the Kelley School, both in private gifts and in hiring practices. Over the years, ArcelorMittal has been a generous donor to Kelley’s I-Core program, its Center for Global Sales Leadership, and has funded two faculty fellowships. This is a company that knows a good thing when it sees it.
“It is in the best interest of corporations like ours to see that the outstanding curriculum and other programs offered by Kelley continue well into the future. I-Core, like its predecessors ‘A’ and ‘B’ Core, enables students to build strong interpersonal skills, which are essential in today’s business world,” says Rippey. “At ArcelorMittal, we are proud to partner with the Kelley School of Business and lend our support for the sustainable growth of the school and its many future initiatives. We believe that our support of academic research through the faculty fellowships is a key enabler of business innovation.”
With over 300,000 employees in the world and 10,000 in Indiana alone, ArcelorMittal is always on the lookout for talented people. According to John Gerrard, staffing manager of ArcelorMittal USA, the company hires several top Kelley graduates each year. He is very impressed. “I’ve told recruiters that we can select pretty much among Kelley students in all majors and they will have the candle power, the brights, to do the job well,” he says. “Kelley students are very well prepared.”
Martha Gonzalez, the company’s manager of sales development, echoes these sentiments. “Kelley students are extremely polished,” she says. “They’ve always been extremely well positioned through their own personal research into our company and its strategies. They always ask excellent questions about the company and our visionary chairman and CEO, Mr. Lakshmi Mittal. I’ll be honest with you, we look at the little things in selecting tomorrow’s leaders of our company. I even notice whether their shoes are polished,” she says with a laugh.
Polished questions and shoes aside, Gerrard acknowledges other motives for recruiting at IU. “By hiring at Kelley, we are not only supporting higher education but also supporting our objectives in talent acquisitions,” he says. “We know in the next three to five years we are going to see turnover due to retirements, and in anticipation of this turnover, we need to backfill sales, marketing, finance, and management talent.”
And they need look no farther than Mike Rippey to see this talent in action. “I will always appreciate my educational experiences, both formal and informal, from Kelley, which prepared me well for the opportunity to lead, along with a strong team, one of the nation’s principal industrial companies,” says Rippey. Decades later, Rippey is pleased to see Kelley’s tradition of excellence still going strong. “The school offers students the opportunity to learn from some of the best faculty members in the nation who believe the best way to learn about the business world is to provide courses that mirror the business world,” he says.