Home NewsCommodities News CEO of Canada’s Suncor Energy steps down after latest site fatality By Reuters

CEO of Canada’s Suncor Energy steps down after latest site fatality By Reuters

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CEO of Canada’s Suncor Energy steps down after latest site fatality By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Suncor Energy President and CEO Mark Little speaks at the TD Securities Calgary Energy Conference on July 9, 2019 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. REUTERS/Todd Korol

by Abinaya V and Nia Williams

(Reuters) – Suncor Energy Inc said on Friday its chief executive Mark Little has resigned following a string of deaths at Canada’s third-largest oil producer.

Little also resigned as president and immediately resigned from the board of directors, the Calgary, Alberta-based company said in a statement, https://sustainability-prd-cdn.suncor.com/-/media/ project/suncor/files/news-releases/2022/2022-07-08-suncor-energy-announces-ceo-transition-en.pdf?modified=20220708225627&_ga=2.68797265.116328003.1657326315-1599808855.1657326315.

Downstream executive vice president Chris Smith will replace Little as interim CEO, while the board begins a search for a permanent replacement.

Little’s resignation comes a day after a worker was killed at the Suncor oil sands base in northern Alberta. This is the second fatality at the Suncor facility this year and the thirteenth since 2014.

“Suncor is committed to achieving safety and operational excellence in our business, and we must acknowledge our shortcomings and recognize the urgent need for change,” board chairman Michael Wilson said in a statement.

Little, who became Suncor CEO in 2019 after serving as COO, has been under pressure to address safety and operational issues. He told investors in February that he took full responsibility for the death at the Suncor plant and vowed to improve operations.

In April, U.S.-based activist investment firm Elliot Management disclosed a 3.4 percent stake in Suncor and urged the company to appoint new board directors, overhaul management and begin a strategic review, noting that Suncor’s stock price lagged peers.

Elliott’s public criticism has added to scrutiny of Little’s performance as CEO.

In 2020, Suncor was overtaken by rival Canadian Natural (NYSE:) Resources Ltd as Canada’s most valuable energy company.

In addition to the deaths, the company has disappointed investors by slashing its dividend in 2020, repeatedly missing production guidance and experiencing operational issues at its new Fort Hills oil sands mine that delayed the project from reaching full production. .

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