Abitibi Royalties CEO Ian Ball is aiming to transfer Uber’s successful business model to the rough world of mining
At 31, Ian Ball became one of the youngest mining company presidents on Bay Street. But he didn’t just work at any old metals exploration company in the rugged, aging industry.
It was McEwen Mining, which operates in four countries, has 1,700 employees and owns a market cap approaching $1 billion. His boss was none other than legendary gold mining magnate Rob McEwen, who famously turned Red Lake in Northern Ontario into a massively successful, well, gold mine.
Still, the go-getter had been there about 10 years and was itching to spread his wings, despite being the protégé of one of the most recognized people in the business.
A year after being promoted to the top spot, Ball decided to make a critical phone call.
“I basically called up the CEO of Abitibi Royalties (Glenn Mullan) and told him I wanted to replace him,” jokes Ball, who in reality put the thought much more politely.
Somehow, his persistence worked. “In hindsight, it was a bit of a bold move. To his credit, he liked the idea and how (we) could continue to grow the company.”
Today, at 34, Ball has that CEO job and a seat on the board, with Mullan as board chairman, and he’s busily implementing the innovative ideas that got him there.
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