CLEVELAND, Oct. 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. (NYSE: CLF) (Paris: CLF) today announced that Donald J. Gallagher, executive vice president & president, global commercial, will retire effective Dec. 31, 2013. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20101104/CLIFFSLOGO ) "Don is an outstanding and accomplished leader who has led the organization through some of the most challenging times in the industry and has been instrumental in Cliffs' growth and profitability over many years," said James Kirsch, chairman of the board. "We are sincerely grateful to Don for his dedication and commitment to Cliffs over the past 32 years – he personifies the resiliency of Cliffs. We are appreciative of Don's ongoing assistance to make sure our customers' interests are taken care during this transitional period. We wish him well during his retirement." Mr. Gallagher assumed his current position in January 2011, after having served as president of Cliffs' North American business unit since 2007. He has commercial and logistics responsibility for all of Cliffs' global businesses and has negotiated and executed numerous iron ore sales contracts and rail and vessel transportation agreements for the Company. Mr. Gallagher has held key leadership positions throughout his years at Cliffs. He was instrumental in Cliffs' transition from being primarily a North American mine management company to an international diversified mining and natural resources company. He provided leadership during some of the most difficult periods in the U.S. steel industry's history when he was involved in negotiating agreements with the Company's financially challenged partners and customers. He and his team strategically positioned Cliffs for the future by restructuring commercial arrangements that included equity positions in mines and long-term sales agreements. Mr. Gallagher began his career at Cliffs in 1981 as an ore sales representative in the commercial department. In the 1980s, he led the effort to produce fluxed pellets by working with Cliffs' customers, its operations and the Company's R&D/technical team to develop the proper chemical and physical pellet properties. Today Cliffs produces over 15 million tons of fully fluxed or partially fluxed pellets annually.