Molycorp Names Bedford as CEO to Succeed Karayannopoulos

Molycorp Inc., the owner of the largest rare-earth deposit outside of China, named Chief Operating Officer Geoff Bedford its next president and chief executive officer.

Bedford will start his new role Dec. 2, succeeding interim CEO Constantine Karayannopoulos, who will continue as a director and become vice chairman, the Greenwood Village, Colorado-based company said today in a statement.

Like Karayannopoulos, Bedford, 47, was formerly an executive at Neo Material Technologies Inc., the Canadian rare-earth and magnetic-powder producer acquired by Molycorp for C$1.22 billion ($1.18 billion) in June 2012. Karayannopoulos took the helm at Molycorp six months later after his predecessor, Mark Smith, was asked to leave.

Molycorp rose 3.9 percent to $7.38 at 8:15 a.m. before the start of regular trading in New York. The stock dropped 25 percent this year through yesterday.

Molycorp said yesterday in a separate filing that it amended an accord with Molibdenos & Metales SA, allowing the Chilean company to acquire a shareholding of as much as 27.5 percent, up from a previous limit of 19.9 percent. Molibdenos & Metales had a 17 percent stake in Molycorp as of Jan. 30, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Rare earths are 17 chemically similar metallic elements used in rechargeable batteries, wind turbines and electric vehicles.