Bill Doyle to step down as PotashCorp CEO from July

07 April 2014 11:14 Source:ICIS News

LONDON (ICIS)--Bill Doyle will step down as the President and CEO of PotashCorp of Saskatchewan after 15 years at the helm of one of the world’s largest potash miners, the Saskatchewan-based company announced on Sunday.

Jochen Tilk has been appointed as President and CEO, effective 1 July, the company said. Tilk comes to the company after a 30-year career in the mining industry, most recently serving as President and CEO of Inmet Mining, where he helped grow the company’s market capitalisation by 5000%, the statement said.

‘Jochen is known for his focus on operational excellence and disciplined growth, and the entire Board agreed he was the right person to lead the company forward’, said Dallas Howe, Chairman of the Board.

Doyle will remain with the company as a Senior Advisor through June 2015 ‘allowing for planned and seamless transition’, the company said.

The change of guard has been on the cards with the company board saying it ‘undertook a rigorous, three-year selection process’ for the new CEO that included the use of international executive search firms and a review of both internal and external candidates.

‘Bill has been an exceptional CEO for PotashCorp and under his leadership over the past 15 years, PotashCorp was transformed into the global leader it is today,’ said Howe.

Doyle has been with PotashCorp for a total of 27 years, out of which he has been President and CEO for 15 years.

‘The company is in great shape and I am more enthusiastic about the future than I have ever been, especially with the addition of Jochen Tilk,’ said Doyle.

‘PotashCorp has the best people, the best assets in the business and excellent long-term growth prospects,’ he said.

In 2010, Doyle successfully thwarted an attempt by Anglo-Australian miner BHP Billiton to acquire the company, calling the unsolicited offer ‘inadequate’ and ‘not in the best interests of the company’.

Under his tenure, PotashCorp also tried to unsuccessfully gain control of Israel Chemicals Ltd.

Doyle has recently come under criticism for announcing large layoffs at the company. In early December, PotashCorp was forced to slash its workforce by 18% across the company’s fertilizers segments, and lower or cease production at its potash and phosphates mines.

The drastic job cuts were a result of a sharp drop in potash prices following a decision by Russian miner Uralkali to exit its marketing venture with Belarus’ Belaruskali at the end of July 2013.

The breakup of the marketing cartel set potash prices down by over $50-100/tonne in major emerging markets and added to the overall reluctance of buyers to make purchases.

Doyle is also chairman of Canpotex, the North American marketing joint venture that controls the overseas exports of the three largest potash producers in the region, Potash Corp, Mosaic and Agrium.

By Deepika Thapliyal