SANTIAGO, June 6 Chilean state-run copper miner
Codelco said on Friday that it was replacing Chief
Executive Officer Thomas Keller, who has had differences with
the new board.
Keller has earned plaudits for his drive to overhaul old
mines and cut costs at the world's No. 1 copper producer, but
his tough style triggered some tensions with unions.
The board voted 5-3, with one abstention, to remove Keller
from his duties, Codelco said in a statement to Chile's market
regulator, without specifying why.
Keller will carry on as CEO through June 13, when the miner
will announce a temporary chief executive officer while it
searches for his long-term replacement.
Keller took the reins of the company in 2012, during the
conservative administration of Sebastian Pinera.
Current center-left President Michelle Bachelet, who took
office in March, tapped three new directors to the board,
including its current president, Oscar Landerretche.
Keller, seen as close to the right, and the new board appear
to have different views of how to run the company, which
produces about 10 percent of the world's red metal.
There is no obvious replacement for him. The major
challenges facing Codelco's next CEO will be overseeing a
multibillion-dollar investment plan to overhaul the company's
massive but tired mines, as well as cutting costs.
(Reporting by Alexandra Ulmer; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)