Barrick Replaces CFO Al-Joundi in Latest Management Change

Barrick Gold Corp., the world’s biggest gold producer, said it will replace Chief Financial Officer Ammar Al-Joundi two months after Chief Executive Officer Jamie Sokalsky left the company.

Shaun Usmar, a former Xstrata Plc executive, will join Barrick as senior executive vice president on Nov. 24 and become CFO on Feb. 18,, the Toronto-based miner said today in a statement. Al-Joundi will leave after Barrick reports its 2014 financial results, the company said, without giving a reason for his departure.

“There was a mutual agreement that the time was right for a transition to new leadership in finance,” Andy Lloyd, a Barrick spokesman, said by phone. He declined to comment further.

Barrick announced a management shuffle in July that included the replacement of Sokalsky by two co-presidents. The gold miner, seeking to bolster its share price and improve profit margins under new Chairman John Thornton, has announced several other management changes this year, including hiring Kevin Thomson, a lawyer at Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP, as senior vice president of strategic matters.

Al Joundi, CFO since July 2012, was promoted to senior vice president in the July announcement. Barrick said at the time he would “work closely with the chairman on the development and execution of strategic initiatives.”

‘Long-Term Plan’

Usmar worked at Xstrata from 2002 until last year and spent about seven years as CFO of the miner’s nickel business.

Thornton “continues to put his stamp on the company as he substantially re-builds the executive team,” Greg Barnes, a Toronto-based analyst at TD Securities Inc., said in a note. Usmar’s experience at Xstrata, a large diversified mining company that was acquired last year by Glencore Plc, “may serve to underscore a view that Mr. Thornton’s long-term plan could be to diversify Barrick away from being a pure gold producer.”

Usmar’s appointment doesn’t reflect any change in strategy for the company, Lloyd said in an e-mail.

“Mr. Usmar was chosen for his deep mining industry experience, and for his track record of strong financial management and execution,” Lloyd said.

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