Barrick Gold Turns to New Finance Chief – by Tatyana Shumsky (Wall Street Journal – April 25, 2016)

Catherine Raw will be the company’s fourth CFO in five years

Investors will get their first chance to size up a new finance chief at the world’s largest gold producer this week, when Barrick Gold Corp. reports first-quarter earnings.

The Canadian miner is betting that Catherine Raw, who previously co-managed funds focused on the industry for BlackRock Inc., can streamline the company and place more emphasis on shareholder returns. She starts her new job following Tuesday’s results and conference call.

Barrick Gold—and the broader gold mining industry—has lacked such a strategy, according to analysts and investors. The company and its peers have historically prized output over profitability, which contributed to ballooning costs, excessive gold production and disappointing returns.

“They spent too much on acquisitions. They spent too much to build huge projects that didn’t generate enough returns or failed. The management have a legacy of doing a poor job guiding their companies,” said Joe Foster, a fund manager at Van Eck Associates Corp. “Part of the reason that Catherine has the job that she does is that there’s been a change in thinking at these companies,” he said.

Ms. Raw, 34 years old, will be the company’s fourth CFO in five years. She joined Barrick Gold a year ago to lead business performance. She played a key role in developing and executing the company’s strategy, the company said.

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