Barrick Gold: Peter Munk's Leadership and Legacy
(5 pages of text)
Under the guidance and vision of founder Peter Munk, Barrick Gold Corporation had risen to become an industry leader and the world’s largest gold producer. The company had grown, mostly through mergers and acquisitions, from one single mine in Northern Ontario to 26 operating mines on five continents, with more than 20,000 employees worldwide. By 2013, however, weak gold prices, asset value writedowns and operational cost overruns have negatively affected the company’s stock price. Many attribute the company’s problems to Munk’s personality and his control over the board of directors. Munk has announced that he will retire in 2014 and will be replaced as chairman by his current co-chairman, John L. Thornton. How can Thornton effectively chair Barrick’s board in the wake of Munk’s legacy? Will his vision for the company conflict with Munk’s dream of turning it into an international diversified mining company? How much of a role will Munk play in the future given his level of informal power? Finally, what can Barrick do to lift itself out of an industry mired in volatility and financial uncertainty?
The case is intended for a course in leading change at the honours BA level. Its objectives are:
- To study the impact of fluctuating gold prices on the success of a global mining company that has grown rapidly through mergers and acquisitions.
- To examine how to deal with transition at the senior management level and what impact such a transition will have on an organization, including its performance.
Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction
Canada; Global, Large, 2013
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