Baker takes Hood’s Job as the CEO of Lihir Gold

Submitted by Jim Thesiger on 18 January, 2010 - 13:44

Arthur Hood, the chief executive of Australia based exploration and mining company Lihir Gold (LGL), has stepped down from his post with instant effect. He has been replaced by Phil Baker on a temporary basis. Mr. Baker was the chief financial officer of the company. Mr. Hood remained as the CEO of Lihir Gold for four years. He joined the company from Placer Dome. According to Lihir, Mr. Hood had time on his contract to run. The miner saw its shares getting doubled and profit boosting 11-fold when Mr. Hood was operating as the CEO of the company during a time when the price of the yellow metal saw a major rise in the market. After not being able to meet the targeted output, Mr. Hood was forced to slash the value of the Ballarat gold mine (located in Australia) by $350 million during 2009. Mr. Hood went for taking over of the company which was the owner of that mine during 2006.

According to market analyst Lyndon Fagan, the new CEO will focus on expanding the operations in West Africa and will also try to diversify away from Papua New Guinea. In his statement, Mr. Hood termed Lihir Gold as one of the top gold producers of the globe which has outstanding growth options and performing well. So it is the appropriate time for him to step down so that a new CEO can take his place through an orderly transition. According to Lihir, the termination package of Mr. Arthur Hood includes $3.6 million of cash with $1.3 million in lieu of share rights something that he would have been entitled to this year had his agreement run its complete term. In addition to this, the package also includes the right of 3.5 million shares.

During July, Lihir Gold stated that it is trying to sell the Ballarat mine- a project where it slashed the production and also laid off 200 workers in April. In an attempt to extend its operations in Africa, Lihir agreed to purchase Equigold for $1 billion. The company also went for the expansion of the Lihir Island mine operation which is located in Papua New Guinea under the leadership of Arthur Hood. The shares of the gold miner gained 0.6 percent in the mid-morning trading. Lihir Gold currently has a market value that worth as much as $7.8 billion.