Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

John Thornton, incoming chairman of Barrick Gold Corp., is pictured on Dec. 5, 2013. The mining firm is seeking to tie executive compensation to the company’s performance.

Tim Fraser/The Globe and Mail

Two of Barrick Gold Corp.'s independent directors resigned suddenly on Tuesday, the company said in a surprise announcement that came less than two weeks after it overhauled its board and nominated four new independent board members.

Robert Franklin and Donald Carty had been in charge of talking to Barrick's institutional investors about their concerns regarding the company's governance. They joined Barrick in 2006 when the gold producer bought Placer Dome, where they served on the board. Mr. Carty is currently the chairman of Porter Airlines Inc.

They had led the search for the new slate of independent Barrick directors, which culminated in a board revamp announced early this month that included the planned exit of chairman Peter Munk along with two other long-standing directors. Major Barrick shareholders had clamoured for boardroom changes after it awarded Barrick co-chairman John Thornton with a $11.9-million (U.S.) signing bonus, which he used to buy Barrick stock.

Story continues below advertisement

The unexpected departure of two more Barrick directors signals that institutional investors continued to look for governance improvements even after the board overhaul. earlier this month. At the time, major shareholders applauded the moves, but indicated more could be done.

Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec spokesman Maxime Chagnon said at the time the fund looked forward "to meeting with the company to better understand these and the further steps they will be taking to improve the governance of the company."

It is unclear when or whether Barrick will choose two more independent directors to replace Mr. Franklin and Mr. Carty.

A Barrick spokesman declined to comment.

Barrick nominated four directors in early December, including Bay Street veteran Ned Goodman and coal-mining executive Ernie Thrasher.

Barrick's 86-year-old founder and chairman Peter Munk is set to hand over the chairmanship to Mr. Thornton at the upcoming annual meeting of shareholders in 2014.

As well, the company said two of Barrick's longest-serving directors, former prime minister Brian Mulroney and lawyer Howard Beck, would not stand for re-election.

Story continues below advertisement

If Barrick's board decides against replacements, the company will have a 12-member board including eight independent directors. Currently, there are 13 board members and seven independent directors.

Barrick's boardroom shuffle comes after a difficult year for the company.

Like other miners, Barrick has had to retool operations in order to weather the 30-per-cent drop in bullion prices.

The company, the world's biggest gold producer, has recorded nearly $14-billion in writedowns, suspended one of its key gold projects, Pascua Lama, cut jobs and reduced its dividend.

The signing bonus, which was made public in the spring, became a tipping point for investors rankled with the 50-per-cent drop in Barrick's share price.

Mr. Franklin and Mr. Carty could not immediately be reached for comment.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the author of this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Tickers mentioned in this story
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies