May 18, 2024

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Chris Griffith calls it a day at Gold Fields after botched Yamana deal

Chris Griffith will step down on 31 December 2022. Image: Moneyweb

Gold Fields CEO Chris Griffith has resigned from his position, as the company expresses disappointment about the miner’s bungled attempt to take over one of Canada’s biggest gold mines, Yamana Gold.

Read: Gold Fields share price jumps on termination of Yamana deal

“We were all disappointed that the Yamana deal did not go through,” Yunus Suleman, chair of Gold Fields said in a statement to shareholders on Tuesday.

Gold Fields’s attempt to acquire Yamana came to a disappointing end when rivals Agnico Eagle Mines AEM.TO and Pan American Silver Corp clinched a $4.8 billion cash-and-shares deal to buy Yamana Gold.

Read: Gold Fields loses bid for Yamana Gold

Yamana ditched Gold Fields’s offer which was initially set at $6.7 billion in an all-share transaction. The offer was later reduced to around $4 billion as the value of Gold Fields shares declined due to dampening sentiment for the gold sector.

Griffith, previously the CEO of Anglo American Platinum, took the top job at Gold Fields in April 2021. He succeeded Nick Holland who had held the post for 13 years.

Listen: Yamana laat val Gold Fields soos ‘n warm patat

His resignation is effective from 31 December 2022, with Martin Preece stepping in as interim CEO.

Preece, who has 37 years’ experience in the industry, is on the board of Minerals Council South Africa and joined Gold Fields almost six years ago.

“Martin knows the company well, having led the turnaround of South Deep, and is well-placed to lead Gold Fields and its leadership team. The board fully supports him as interim CEO,” the company said.

“We thank Chris for the commitment and dedication he showed as CEO of Gold Fields, especially during the Yamana transaction,” Suleman said.

He added that the deal was compelling and would have created a strong company and value for all its shareholders.

Read: Yamana Gold agrees to Agnico-Pan American offer; ditches Gold Fields deal

“The company is performing well, delivering strong shareholder returns and we continue to deliver on the strategy including growing the value and quality of our portfolio of assets,” he said.