TORONTO (Reuters) - Goldcorp Inc (G.TO), the world’s most valuable gold miner, said on Friday that Chief Executive Chuck Jeannes will retire after the company’s annual meeting in April 2016, with current HudBay Minerals Inc (HBM.TO) Chief Executive David Garofalo to succeed him.
Jeannes, who held on to his job leading the Vancouver-based miner through the dramatic plunge in gold prices that led to the firing of CEOs at some other top precious metal miners, has been with the company since 2007.
Prior to that, he spent nearly 17 years with Glamis Gold, which was taken over by Goldcorp for $8.6 billion in 2006.
There had been some speculation that Jeannes, an American, wanted to retire to spend more time with family.
“We built the foundations for long-lasting success at Goldcorp, including two key new mines that will drive strong, low-cost production for many years,” Jeannes said in a statement.
Garofalo, who has 25 years experience in the natural resources sector, was Chief Financial Officer of gold producer Agnico Eagle Mines (AEM.TO) from 1998 to 2010. He also served various finance roles at diversified base metals miner Inmet Mining [IMN.UL] from 1990-98.
Several global mining CEOs are at or near retirement age, but industry recruiters, analysts and executives worry that there is not enough experienced people to replace the old guard.
At the world’s 10 biggest public mining companies, four of the top executives are over 60, and their median age is over 59 compared with 56 for CEOs of the top 10 S&P500 companies.
Several mining CEOs are well into their 60s and seen close to retirement.
Separately, Goldcorp said it has begun a controlled start-up of operations at its Musselwhite mine in northern Ontario after a suspension last week when a scoop operator working underground was killed. An investigation continues.
With additiona reporting by Julie Gordon and Nicole Mordant in Vancouver, editing by G Crosse