Barrick Gold appoints rival Agnico-Eagle CFO to boost stock price

The world’s largest gold company, Barrick Gold Corp. (TSX: ABX), has rehired a former member of its financial team to fill a senior management spot generated early June when it dumped former chief executive Aaron Regent in hopes of restoring its stock price.

Jamie Sokalsky, who was the Toronto-based miner’s chief financial officer until then, assumed the role as Barrick’s CEO and president. His position, said Barrick in a statement, will be filled by Agnico-Eagle Mines Ltd. (TSX:AEM) CFO, Ammar Al-Joundi, effective July 10.

Al-Joundi spent 11 years at Barrick before joining Agnico-Eagle in September 2010. Prior to joining Barrick in 1999, Al-Joundi spent eight years as an investment banker at Citibank Canada.

"Ammar has deep knowledge and experience in the mining industry and a track record of exceptional performance not only at Agnico-Eagle, but also as an integral member of the Barrick team for over a decade," Sokalsky said in Barrick's press release.

"I am confident that he will continue Barrick's tradition of financial strength and prudent fiscal management, enabling us to deliver maximum value for our shareholders," he added.

Agnico-Eagle’s President and CEO, Sean Boyd, said the company appreciates Ammar’s contributions, guidance and friendship during his time with the company. “Agnico-Eagle will take the necessary time to identify the best possible candidate to fill this position," he added in a statement.

Last month, Barrick increased its dividend by 33%, in a move that was welcome by investors, who have been calling for a bigger piece of the pie for years. Barrick thought the decision would help push up share prices that have underperformed relative to the increases in gold price over the last decade.

The company will release its second quarter results in exactly a month from today.