Lihir chief steps down

Lihir Gold CEO Arthur Hood has announced his immediate resignation from the company.

Lihir Gold (LGL) has announced its chief executive Arthur Hood will resign from his position effective immediately, seeing him walk away with cash payments totalling $3.6 million.

Hood’s termination package will also include 3.5 million previously awarded share rights.

The Papua New Guinea-based company gave little explanation for the resignation, beyond saying now is an appropriate time to make a smooth transition to a new chief.

“LGL is now one of the world’s leading gold producers and is consistently performing very well, with excellent growth options for the future,” Hood said.

“It is therefore the right time for me to step aside to enable an orderly transition to a new CEO.”

Hood said that his four years in the role saw him achieve his primary goal of overseeing the transformation of LGL from a single mine operation to a multi-mine company producing in excess of one million ounces of gold per year.

LGL chairman Ross Garnaut praised Hood’s work in supervising the company’s growth in recent years.

“Arthur has successfully led LGL through a major growth phase which has seen production increase from around 600,000 ounces per year in 2005 to more than 1.1 million ounces in 2009,” he said.

“He built a strong management team to take the company forward into its next phase of growth, and under his stewardship the group’s financial position has been significantly enhanced.”

Lihir has named chief financial officer Phil Baker as an interim chief executive as the company conducts an international search for a permanent replacement.

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