Suncor Power Inc.’s chief govt officer stepped down on Friday after a collection of fatalities on the firm’s oil sands websites shook confidence in its administration.
Mark Little agreed to step down as president and CEO and resign from the board of administrators “efficient instantly,” the corporate stated in a launch. Kris Smith, govt vice chairman for downstream, has been named interim CEO.
Little’s resignation got here a day after a employee was killed at Suncor’s Base Plant mine in northern Alberta, the most recent in a collection of accidents that has prompted requires change.
“Suncor is dedicated to reaching security and operational excellence throughout our enterprise, and we should acknowledge the place we now have fallen quick and acknowledge the essential want for change,” Board Chair Michael Wilson stated within the launch.
In April, Suncor investor Elliott Funding Administration LP referred to as for 5 administrators to be added to the producer’s board and sought a administration overview after operational mishaps and accidents at its oil-sands initiatives prompted the corporate to overlook manufacturing targets. Elliot Funding stated in an electronic mail Friday that it had no remark.
A truck accident in January killed a contractor and injured two others on the Base Plant mine. In June of final yr, an individual was killed on the Syncrude mine, and two deaths occurred in December 2020 on the Fort Hills mine.
Suncor’s security file has been a contributing issue to its poor funding returns. Over the previous two years, the corporate’s share worth has risen lower than the 4 different main Canadian oil sands producers Cenovus Power Inc., Canadian Pure Assets Ltd., Imperial Oil Ltd. and MEG Power Corp.
Suncor’s board has shaped a committee to hold out a world seek for the subsequent CEO, the corporate stated. Exterior and inner candidates will likely be thought of for the function.
Little took over management of the Canadian power big three years in the past, changing Steve Williams. He steered the corporate via the pandemic, when oil demand collapsed and West Texas Intermediate futures costs briefly went unfavorable.
Covid-19 additionally posed distinctive operational challenges for oil sands producers reminiscent of Suncor, which struggled to stem the speedy unfold of the virus amongst hundreds of staff typically dwelling and dealing in shut quarters in distant camps.
Little additionally tried to enhance his firm’s picture throughout the funding neighborhood by focusing, together with different oil sands producers, on decreasing the trade’s carbon emissions.