Barrick scraps co-president structure in management shuffle

Mon Aug 17, 2015 3:48pm EDT
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By Euan Rocha

TORONTO (Reuters) - Barrick Gold Corp said on Monday that Jim Gowans, a veteran miner and one of its co-presidents, was retiring and that he would not be replaced, as the miner moves to thin out its ranks and create a leaner operating structure.

In the latest reshuffle, Kelvin Dushnisky, who has served as co-president with Gowans for a year, has been named as president and will continue to report to Executive Chair John Thornton, a former Goldman Sachs executive.

Toronto-based Barrick said Gowans would step down as co-president immediately, but stay on as an adviser to the chairman until he retires at the end of the year.

Analysts said the exit of Gowans, who has four decades of industry experience, leaves a void of first-hand mining know-how in Barrick's senior ranks.

"The loss of a senior executive with the mining experience of Jim Gowans does reduce the 'bench strength' of the overall management team," noted Barclays analyst Farooq Hamed in a note to clients on Monday.

Barrick said the move is a continuation of its strategy of putting more responsibility in the hands of its mine managers.

"As we become leaner, more efficient and more keenly focused on a smaller number of core assets, we're empowering our leaders in the field to function as true business owners," said Thornton in a statement.

Dushnisky joined Barrick in 2002 and served as co-president with Gowans for a year, prior to that he headed the company's government relations, investor relations and communications.   Continued...