Pike River CEO to leave company

 Peter Whittall, CEO of Pike River Coal, will leave the company.

It comes amidst the ongoing royal inquiry into the disaster last year which last year saw 29 miners killed at the Pike River underground coal mine, according to the NZ Herald.

Receivers for the company, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), said Whittall had remained in his position to help with the insurance claim and sale of the mine, but will step down on 30 November, almost a year to the day of the accident.

PWC has completed a deal with the mine’s insurers for a final payment of $80 million.

The sale of the coal is also in its final stages.

PWC spokesperson Malcolm Hollis said Whittall’s role is now surplus to requirements.

Engineering manager Rob Ridl will also soon step down.

Prior to the explosions, the miner had a staff of close to 160 as well as contractors.

As of Friday “we will go from 20 to 18,” Hollis said.

Reducing to 18 staff members was an ‘ideal’ outcome.

“There has been a sinking lid policy as people gradually move on. We had more people than we needed to start with.”

While Whittall joined Pike River in 2005, he had only stepped into the role of CEO in October 2010, one month before the incident.


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