In some ways, Ken Seitz, the new chief executive of fertilizer giant Nutrien Ltd., is in an enviable position. As long as he doesn’t get fired, he’ll be ahead of his two predecessors, Mayo Schmidt and Chuck Magro, both of whom were shown the door in the past year and a half.
And as a former miner himself, Mr. Seitz commands a natural respect from the thousands of men and women who work a kilometre underground in Nutrien’s six potash mines in Saskatchewan, some of which have been in operation since the late 1960s.
On top of all that, potash, the potassium-rich fertilizer ingredient that is the Saskatoon-based company’s most important commodity, is in a bull market the likes of which the industry has not seen since the heady days of the mid-2000s.
But there is still plenty to fret about for the former farm boy, who grew up just outside Regina. Nutrien, once seen as the ultimate steady-as-she-goes, borderline-boring stalwart of the mining industry, has the spotlight firmly pinned on it.
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