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Barrick Gold Shows CEO Sokalsky the Door

Barrick Gold Shows CEO Sokalsky the Door
Barrick Gold Shows CEO Sokalsky the Door

Mining giant Barrick Gold Corp. is giving president and CEO Jamie Sokalsky the boot as the company unveiled a new executive management structure on Wednesday. The announcement comes two years after Sokalsky was appointed to the leadership position.

The restructuring will allow the company to better manage relationships with local governments, communities and stakeholders in the countries where it operates, says Barrick.

The Toronto-based gold company said Sokalsky will step down effective September 15, and its position will be replaced by senior executive vice-president Kelvin Dushinsky and executive vice-president Jim Gowans. The two will be responsible for execution of the company’s strategic priorities and operations plans.

Barrick says the changes will help the company “meet the distinct demands and challenges of the mining industry in the 21st century.”

The ousting of Sokalsky comes three months after merger talks broke down with Newmont Mining. People close to the situation say the move will give Chairman John Thornton, who took control in April as Barrick’s sole chairman, more power.

"The fact that a CEO has not been named suggests that John Thornton, Chairman, will continue to be very active in the management of the company in a de facto CEO role," said TD Securities analyst Greg Barnes in a note to clients.

Other planned changes to the management structure include appointing chief financial officer Ammar Al-Joundi to the additional role of senior executive vice-president to work on the company’s strategic initiatives.

This past year has brought Barrick Gold a slew of challenge as metal prices decline and demand for gold softens. The company has been selling off non-core operations in an effort to reduce its debt.