Officials at Stillwater Mining announced that CEO Frank McAllister has decided to retire. Terell I. Ackerman has been appointed the interim replacement. Most recently, Ackerman was the vice president, general manager of East Boulder Operations. Prior to that, he was the vice president of planning and process operations from 2002 to 2008.
The move follows a dustup with activist shareholders who criticized recent investment decisions. During a heated annual meeting on May 2, former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer was appointed chairman. He was one of four new directors elected to Stillwater’s eight-member board. Beginning in February, hedge fund The Clinton Group campaigned for Stillwater shareholders to replace the entire board with a proposed slate of new directors.
The Clinton Group charged that Stillwater management had destroyed shareholder value by over-paying for acquisitions of the Marathon PGM-copper project in Ontario in 2010 ($133 million) and the Altar copper-gold deposit in Argentina in 2011 ($487 million), by over-paying its executives, and by over-spending on palladium market development through its association with the International Palladium Alliance.