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Suncor says president and CEO Mark Little has stepped down

Suncor Vitality Inc. chief government Mark Little has stepped down as president and chief government officer and resigned from its board of administrators simply someday after the corporate introduced its oilsands operations have suffered one other office fatality.

Little’s departure is efficient instantly, the Calgary-based vitality firm stated in a launch Friday.

“Suncor is dedicated to attaining security and operational excellence throughout our enterprise, and we should acknowledge the place we now have fallen quick and acknowledge the vital want for change,” stated board chair Michael Wilson.

On Thursday, Suncor introduced {that a} contractor had been killed at its Base Mine north of Fort McMurray, Alta., the most recent in a string of office deaths and security incidents which have plagued the vitality big. Since 2014, there have been at the very least 12 deaths at Suncor websites, greater than all of its oilsands rivals mixed.

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READ MORE: Contract employee killed at northern Alberta Suncor web site

Little’s departure additionally comes lower than three months after well-known US-based activist investor Elliot Funding Administration wrote a letter calling for an overhaul of Suncor’s board and administration. Elliot highlighted Suncor’s security monitor document, in addition to different operational challenges and the corporate’s lagging share worth.

Elliot by no means launched a proper proxy battle for management of Suncor’s board, and the activist investor has been publicly silent on the vitality firm because the spring.

Underneath Little’s administration, Suncor introduced a collection of initiatives aimed toward bettering security on the firm, together with a third-party assessment and the implementation of recent fatigue administration and collision avoidance expertise.

However Josh Younger, chief funding officer at Bison Pursuits, stated Little’s sudden exit is proof that “the activists are in cost indirectly.”

“I feel it is indicative of Elliot having extra management than you would possibly suppose,” Younger stated in an interview. “There was in all probability an expectation that security could be additional prioritized and the activist investor discovered it unacceptable to have a further fatality occasion.”

READ MORE: Suncor’s security document in highlight as activist investor requires change

Younger added it is doable Little’s days at Suncor have been numbered even earlier than Thursday’s office loss of life. He stated Elliot — which has a monitor document of concentrating on massive firms it views as underperformers — might be in search of improved monetary efficiency at Suncor, and the corporate’s efforts to date could not have confirmed to be sufficient.

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“This (office loss of life) could have been an excuse for the board to fireside the CEO,” Younger stated. “It is doable this isn’t about security. It is doable it is about cash.”

Suncor stated in its information launch that Kris Smith, who’s at the moment government vice-president of Suncor’s Downstream division, has been named interim CEO.

The corporate additionally thanked Little, who joined Suncor in 2008 and has been CEO since 2019, for his years of service and wished him nicely.

“We commend Mark for his professionalism and the distinctive work he did to information Suncor by the pandemic and lead our sector’s progressive method to the vitality transition,” stated board chair Wilson.

READ MORE: Suncor stories earnings of $2.95B as oil costs surge

Suncor’s board has fashioned a committee to conduct a world search to pick out the corporate’s subsequent CEO and is partaking a world government recruiting agency to assist with the method.

Earlier than Friday’s occasions, Suncor was slated to host an “oilsands operational presentation” on July 13 to replace traders on the modifications it’s making in help of protected and dependable operations.

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Canadian oil giants pressured to take a position sky-high earnings in jobs, clear vitality – Could 10, 2022

© 2022 The Canadian Press


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