John P. Surma

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John P. Surma (born 1954 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) is an American businessman. He was the executive chairman of the board of United States Steel Corporation. Surma retired as CEO of U.S. Steel effective September 1, 2013, and Chairman effective January 1, 2014, positions he held since 2004.

John P. Surma
Born1954 (age 65–66)
Alma materPenn State University
OccupationRetired Chairman and CEO of the United States Steel Corporation
Spouse(s)Becky Surma


Surma received his bachelor's degree in accounting in 1976 from Pennsylvania State University, following which he joined Price Waterhouse, in 1987, he was admitted as a partner. In 1983 Surma was picked for Ronald Reagan’s Executive Exchange Program in Washington, D.C., where he worked with the Federal Reserve Board. He was appointed by Obama to serve as the vice chairman of the President's Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations

In 1997 he was hired at Marathon Oil, then a subsidiary of U. S. Steel, as the senior vice president for finance & accounting.[1] In 1998, he became president of Speedway SuperAmerica, a subsidiary of Marathon, and in 2001 he became president of Marathon Ashland Petroleum, another subsidiary. When U. S. Steel and Marathon separated at the end of 2001, he stayed with U. S. Steel as vice chairman and chief financial officer.[2] He became president of U. S. Steel in March 2003,[3] and chairman of the board as of February 2006.[4][5]

Among his current posts Surma is chairman of the International Iron and Steel Institute,[6] vice chairman of the American Iron and Steel Institute and a member of the board of directors of the National Association of Manufacturers. As the vice chairman of the Board of Trustees of Pennsylvania State University, Surma informed longtime Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, by phone, that he had been terminated amid the media firestorm in the wake of the Penn State child sex abuse scandal.[7] Surma became chairman of the Penn State Board of Trustees three days later when Chairman Steve Garban resigned his position.[8] In January 2012 he relinquished the position to The Bank of New York Mellon executive Karen Peetz, but he has continued to serve on the board. Surma served as a director of BNY Mellon until April 2012. In 2011 his reported compensation as a director of BNY Mellon was $216,575.[9]

Surma is involved with education and community development in Pittsburgh.

Surma became an honorary member of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) in 2006.[citation needed]

Surma received the American Iron and Steel Institute's Elbert Gary Medal in 2006.[10]

Surma retired as chief executive officer of United States Steel on August 31, 2013. He continued to serve as executive chairman of the board of directors until December 31, 2013, when he retired from the company and the board.[11][12]

In September 2015, John Surma assumed the chairmanship of the National Safety Council Board of Directors, succeeding Jeff Woodbury.[13]Surma had been on the board since 2011.[14] He retired from that position in 2017, being succeeded by Mark Vergnano.[15]


While CEO of United States Steel in 2008, John P. Surma earned a total compensation of $11,130,689, which included a base salary of $1,218,336, a cash bonus of $3,250,000, stocks granted of $4,174,028, options granted of $2,233,336, and other compensation of $254,989.[16]

In 2009, he requested a 20% salary reduction and more than 60% reduction in his compensation package citing the difficult business environment.[17] From June 6, 2008, to May 31, 2013, with Surma at the helm, US Steel's stock value plummeted by 89%.[18]

Pittsburgh PenguinsEdit

Surma is a minority owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins of the National Hockey League with a share estimated in 2012 of $2 million.[19]



  1. ^ Staff (30 January 1997) "People on the Move" Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Business p. B-6
  2. ^ (18 February 2002) "U.S. Steel Corporation (Interview with John P. Surma)" The Wall Street Transcript 155.7: pp.182–186
  3. ^ Staff (2004) "Surma assumes USS CEO post, Usher remains chairman" Metal Producing & Processing 42.6: p.11
  4. ^ Guzzo, Maria (30 November 2005) "USS' Surma will add chairman's post as Usher opts for early out" American Metal Market 113.47-2: p.6
  5. ^ Boselovic, Len (30 November 2005) "U.S. Steel's CEO Surma to Become Chairman" Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Business p. E-1
  6. ^ Mas, Renate F. (4 October 2006) "U. S. Steel's Surma tapped by IISI board to succeed Dolle as chairman" American Metal Market 114.39-3 p. 6)
  7. ^ Van Natta, Jr., Don (4 April 2012). "Fight On State". Retrieved 26 January 2013.
  8. ^ Rubinkam, Michael (2012-07-19). "Ex-chairman of Penn State board of trustees quits". Retrieved 26 January 2013.
  9. ^ "Forbes". Retrieved 26 January 2013.
  10. ^ Robertson, Scott (11 May 2006) "U.S. Steel's Surma awarded AISI's Gary Medal" American Metal Market 114.18-4: p.7
  11. ^ "Executive Biographies". United States Steel. September 1, 2013. Archived from the original on March 15, 2014. Retrieved September 3, 2013.
  12. ^ "U. S. Steel President Mario Longhi To Become CEO; John P. Surma Becomes Executive Chairman". U.S. Steel. 16 August 2013. Archived from the original on 18 November 2019.
  13. ^ "NSC Board of Directors welcomes John Surma as new chairman". Safety+Health. 28 September 2015. Archived from the original on 18 November 2019.
  14. ^ Gough, Paul J. (31 October 2011). "US Steel's Surma joins National Safety Council board". Pittsburgh Business Times. Archived from the original on 4 December 2011.
  15. ^ "NSC Board of Directors welcomes new chairman, eight members". Safety+Health. 25 September 2017. Archived from the original on 21 June 2018.
  16. ^ 2008 CEO Compensation for John P. Surma,
  17. ^ US Steel CEO's 2009 pay dives as he rejects awards,
  18. ^ US Steel's Terrible Financial Performance, Google Finance
  19. ^ Belko, Mark (11 September 2012). "Strip, Findlay considered for U.S. Steel headquarters". Retrieved 11 February 2013.

See alsoEdit