Ian Smith is stepping down as CEO of Orica, the world’s leading supplier of explosives and services to the mining industry, after three years in the job.
Chairman Russell Caplan says an international search is underway, canvassing both internal and external candidates.
Caplan said: “Orica’s transformation to a pure play, global mining services company has been achieved, its cost profile has been significantly reduced and its focus on delivering value-adding solutions to the resources and infrastructure sectors has been sharpened.”
Orica sold its chemicals business last month to private equity group Blackstone for $750 million. Part of the proceeds, about $400 million, are being used in a share buyback.
The company also is on track to strip out costs of $200 million to $250 million a year by financial year 2016.
Caplan said this is a good time to transition to a new leader with a different management style who will consolidate and build on the foundations laid.
Orica shares fell 2% on the news to $18.80.
According to the company’s 2014 annual report, Smith gets a base pay of $2.25 million. He also received a short term incentive of $1.55 million and, with share based payments, total pay came to more than $5 million.
The company reported profit of $602.5 million, up 2%, for the full year to the end of September 2014.