GOLD Fields confirmed the impending departure of its CEO, Nick Holland, who will be 63 years in 2021, the group’s mandatory retirement age.
“The process of finding a replacement will get underway in a few weeks,” said Sven Lunsche, spokesman for the group. “We hope to have her or him in place by next year so there is an overlap.”
Holland’s retirement was first reported by BusinessLive which cited an annual general meeting address by the group’s chairwoman, Cheryl Carolus.
“I would like to state that Nick Holland, after 24 years as executive director and 13 years as CEO, will retire from his position in September 2021,” said Carolus.
“This is in line with the company’s retirement policy, as has been disclosed to shareholders regularly in the company’s Remuneration Report. A global search for a suitable replacement will commence soon,” Carolus said.
Holland, previously CFO of Gold Fields, was appointed CEO in 2008 following the resignation of Ian Cockerill who went on to join Anglo American.
Holland’s first day in charge was marred by the death of eight workers at the firm’s South African asset, South Deep, which led him to embark on a safety campaign, as well as attempts to bring South Deep to profitability – a task that Gold Fields seems finally to have mastered in the last 12 months. The mine generated $5m in free cash flow this year.
Apart from the further diversification of Gold Fields in Australia, the development of its Peru and West African assets, Holland will be best noted for his decision to de-merge the firm’s South African mines Kloof and Driefontein which formed the basis for the present day Sibanye-Stillwater, a company that is now worth R132bn.
Gold Fields, capitalised at R187bn, reported a set of strong interim results today powered by the rising dollar gold price and rand depreciation against the greenback.