Terence Goodlace to leave Implats by December

Terence Goodlace Pic: Martin Rhodes

TERENCE Goodlace has tendered his resignation as CEO of Impala Platinum (Implats), a surprise development that was accepted at a company board meeting today. He intends to step down in December.

Goodlace has served on Implats’ board for six years of which four of them were as CEO – a period which must go down as among the most turbulent in the company’s history.

During that time, the company endured a five-and-a-half month strike by unions, including members of the Association of Mineworkers & Construction Union (AMCU) which rose to its current prominence, among much disruption, during his tenure as CEO.

Platinum prices also rose and fell in dramatic fashion whilst the events of the Marikana disaster played out at the nearby premises of Lonmin which made for volatile working conditions in the entire Rustenburg area.

Goodlace gave no specific reasons for his decision to step down, but it’s thought a series of underground fatalities had had an effect on him – himself a graduate of the stope.

Four miners were killed in a fire in Lease Area’s 14 shaft in February which led Goodlace to order a revamp of safety measures even after having already spent R1bn over four years on improving safety. He described the event has “devastating” and said, several months later, that the company continued to grieve the lost lives.

“He told the board last week that he was taking personal strain and it was affecting him so it was therefore the right time to start thinking about a leadership change,” said Johan Theron, spokesman for the company.

Goodlace may engage the media about the matter (he is increasingly media shy) but first he has to manage the rescue of two missing miners caught in a rockfall event at 1 shaft at Implats’ Rustenburg premises on May 17.

Theron said Goodlace was underground at the operation today whilst the board met. The rescue team is close to the working area where the event happened. “If they are deeper in than that, then we will continue,” said Theron.

Said Goodlace in a statement to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange: “I am very pleased to have served this great company for more than half a decade and depart with a sense of pride for leaving behind a great team of executives and a strong board to lead Implats into the future”.

Mandla Gantsho, chairman of Implats, acknowledged Goodlace’s work “at a difficult time for the platinum mining sector and the mining industry generally”.

“The board is pleased that he has given us a long notice period of his intention to step down and appreciate his commitment to continue to support the company and the board on the important ‘lower for longer commodity prices’ response initiatives, and in the leadership succession and handover,” said Gantsho.

Goodlace was formerly an executive of Metorex and before that led the South African mining team at Gold Fields.

10 COMMENTS

  1. Its really sad for implats team to lose such an influencial but also inteligent leader I wish him all the best in future caree.
    “Oh captain my captain”

  2. Great manager and mining man, liberal in a world view but absolute in professional competence. When we lose leadership of this calibre in our industry, then we have crossed the line as a nation. To be flayed and constantly persecuted by DMR and its officials with their cockamamie view of the world must be terribly debilitating for any human being.

  3. David Brown>Terence Goodlace (Head Coaches gone).
    It is time Impala starts asking tough questions about the level below their head coach. Changing the head coach continuously leads to no-where when your players are the same ‘Old John Mabizela, Jabu Pule, etc” (excuse the pun). That being said, Terence looks like he seriously needs ‘time-off’.

  4. Problem is lack of proper succession planning in most companies. Over rated executive who could not handle the heat. Need strong operational guys to drive business and transformational imperatives which Impala is lacking.

  5. KK, the comment is not only in bad taste, but it is untrue. The second part of your last sentence is the problem- transformation is a poorly defined word open to abuse. Any “strong operational guy” would be hamstrung from the outset. The idiotic policies followed by this government would cripple anybody.

  6. Anyone who has had the privilege of working for this man knows he is as tough as nails operationally and professionally, whilst compassionate and caring for all his charges and other stakeholders beyond belief – his background, actions and scars bear history to that.
    As regards who is to blame – no longer important – the only certainty is that there are only two winners, namely TPG and his successor, who will reap the benefits of the previous four years of survival and sustainability.

  7. While some, including myself, may not always have understood some of TG’s approaches to his job, there can be no doubt that he is a man of total integrity and high principles. This is a man that refused bonuses and pay hikes for three years. Some of his peers might take note of this example given the business and socio political environment of the past few years.

    His commitment to mine safety has been unprecedented and surely commands respect.

    I wish you well Terence – you deserve some peace and downtime. I doubt many understand the level of stress inherent in being a mining CEO these days in South Africa. I salute you.

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