Graham Briggs to retire as the CEO of Harmony Gold
Graham Briggs, the chief executive officer of Harmony Gold (NYSE:HMY), (JSE:HAR) for the last seven years, has decided to retire and South Africa’s third-largest gold producer is already seeking a replacement.
Briggs (62), a geologist by training, has been with the company for 20 years, said Harmony Gold in a statement. He will remain as the leader of the firm until a substitute has been appointed.
His decision comes as the global mining industry is experiencing one of the most challenging times in the last seven years. Harmony, in particular, has been battling to make a profit across its mines due to lower gold prices, rising labour costs and increasing electricity bills.
However, Chairman Patrice Motsepe said the board is “committed to ensuring that Harmony continues to be a globally competitive company.”
In May, Harmony announced plans to restructure mines that produce almost 25% of its gold after making a third consecutive quarterly loss.
Yesterday, the company announced it had reached an agreement with unions designed to help turn around its loss-making Doornkop mine, involving a dramatic scaling back in the level of planned job cuts — from about 3,000 to only 526.
Investors reacted negatively to the news. Shares in the company were down 4.17% in New York at 10:24 am ET, trading at $1.15.