One of Mark Bristow’s goals is to rein in costs; he expects a total of US$200 million in savings by 2020
At 11 a.m. on the nose on Wednesday, Barrick Gold Corp.’s new chief executive, Mark Bristow, strolled into the company’s 37th floor conference room with its postcard view of Lake Ontario’s frozen shores, and gave a nod to the packed room of bankers, analysts and media.
“We’re starting something new here,” Bristow said in South African-inflected English. “Face-to-face quarterlies.”
In the first look forward since Barrick closed its US$6-billion purchase of Bristow’s former company, Randgold Resources Inc. earlier this year, he spent nearly an hour providing a detailed look at his plans for the newly combined company.
Since springing into the long-empty CEO position at Barrick in January, the 60-year-old geologist said he’s been on a mission to restore glory to the Canadian company’s brand, which has suffered as its gold production declined and heavy debt loads ate into profits.
Six weeks into the job, he already has swatted away criticism that the company is losing its Canadian focus, since reducing headcount at its Toronto office, and because he will not be based here.