Newcrest CEO Biswas steps down, hunt for new chief underway
MELBOURNE, Dec 19 (Reuters) - Newcrest Mining Ltd (NCM.AX) Chief Executive Sandeep Biswas will retire from his role after eight years at the helm of Australia's largest gold producer, the company said on Monday.
Chief Financial Officer Sherry Duhe, who joined the company in February, will step in as interim chief executive while a global internal and external search for a replacement is underway, Newcrest said in a filing to the exchange.
"As we look towards the future, it is an opportune time for fresh leadership to accelerate the evolution of our company and ensure we are best placed to make the most of the opportunities in front of us," said Chairman Peter Tomsett in a statement.
Duhe comes from an energy background, having previously worked as CFO of Woodside Energy, and spent 13 years at Shell.
Newcrest expects an appointment to be made next year. It has enlisted the help of executive head hunter Russell Reynolds for the search that has been ongoing "for some months and included conversations with Sandeep."
The move comes less than a year after Biswas issued a mea culpa to the Australian Financial Review, apologising to those who felt bullied during his tenure and vowing to change his management style.
Biswas, who will relinquish his role as a managing director as of Monday, will stay on in an advisory capacity until March 18.
Biswas was applauded by analysts for repairing Newcrest's balance sheet and refocusing the miner on free cash flow during his tenure. He ensconced Newcrest in Canada with its Red Chris acquisition that also raised its exposure to copper, in hot demand for green energy.
Newcrest's exploration team also unearthed a significant new gold find in the Paterson province of Western Australia.
In other appointments, Group Treasurer Dan O'Connell will become interim CFO while Chief Operating Officer (Americas) Craig Jones will assume responsibility for all of Newcrest operations on an interim basis.
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