Barrick Gold Corp. is eliminating its corporate development team, which is tasked with identifying and evaluating assets worth buying, with more cuts pending, said sources quoted by Reuters, who requested anonymity citing lack of authorization. Rick McCreary, a former investment banker who led the team since 2011, will depart this week, they added; Barrick announced cutting 30% of headquarters staff in 2013.

Andy Lloyd, a spokesman for Toronto-based Barrick, confirmed development team reassignments but declined comment on wider cuts, which, sources said, are pending confirmation in the coming weeks. “The change reflects operational excellence, optimizing our portfolio and further improving efficiency,” said Lloyd.

Last month, CEO Jamie Sokalsky announced stepping down in September minus a replacement, concentrating leadership with Executive Chair John Thornton, who inherited the role from founder and long-time chairman Peter Munk earlier in 2014. An ex-Goldman Sachs executive, Thornton has helmed many recent Barrick endeavors, including a failed bid to merge with rival Colorado-based Newmont Mining Corp. and a joint venture with Ma’aden, or Saudi Arabian Mining Co.

On Sokalsky’s departure announcement, Barrick named corporate affairs head Kelvin Dushnisky and COO Jim Gowans as co-presidents responsible for strategy and operating plan execution. The dual-leadership approach, according to officials, acknowledges joint management needs over daily operations, alongside relationships with governments, local communities and external stakeholders.

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