​Orica CEO steps down

Orica have announced a timetable for the resignation of current CEO Ian Smith.

Smith stepped into the role in late 2011, coming from the role of Newcrest CEO and replacing former head of the company Graeme Liebelt.

Speaking on the ‘leadership transition’, Orica chairman Russell Caplan said: “An international search is underway and is canvassing both internal and external candidates.”

No reason was given for Smith’s abrupt departure.

However, the company stated that “the Board and Ian agree that this is an appropriate time to move forward with transition to a new leader with a different management style who will consolidate and build on the foundations that have been laid”.

The company has been contacted for further comment.

Orica, in the vein of many mining suppliers, has seen a tumultuous 12 months.

It recently sold off its chemicals division to private equity concerns for $750 million, recorded a massive NPAT of $602 million – built mostly on a program of ‘efficiency improvements – but recorded a slightly lower EBITDA year on year.

As part of this efficiency improvements the company also announced a headcount reduction of 700 positions slated for this year.

The company also recently announced an on market share buyback to generate funds for ongoing capital management.

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