Turquoise Hill appoints interim CEO
Turquoise Hill Resources announced that its board of directors has appointed Chief Financial Officer Luke Colton to the additional position of interim Chief Executive Officer, effective July 1.
“The board is in the final stages of a robust CEO search and expects to make an announcement in the near term. As previously disclosed, current CEO Jeff Tygesen is retiring from the company,” Turquoise said in a statement.
Prior to joining Turquoise Hill in October 2017, Colton worked for Rio Tinto in various product groups, including Energy & Minerals and Iron Ore. Prior to joining Rio Tinto, he was a senior accountant with Ernst & Young.
The company announced the retirement of its former CEO Jeff Tygesen in May. The board of directors divulged that it was in the process of considering suitable candidates, including those from Rio Tinto.
The second-largest shareholder of Turquouse Hill Resources, SailingStone Capital Partners recently called for the appointment of a “truly independent” CEO and management.
SailingStone Capital Partners, an employee-owned US based investment group, which holds an 11.3 percent stake in Turquoise Hill, has been critical of the majority owner Rio Tinto for exerting too much influence on the Oyu Tolgoi mine. The minority shareholder called on the company to appoint a truly independent chief executive that is not a seconded Rio Tinto executive.
“The recent retirement of Turquouse Hill’s CEO, Jeff Tygesen, provides you with an opportunity to accelerate the transition towards a governance structure which is more consistent with a standalone, publicly traded company,” SailingStone said in a US regulatory filing, the Financial Times reported.
SailingStone said in its filing that the conflict of interest has negatively affected the share price of Turquoise Hill, which underperformed its peers even though it has a controlling interest in one of the world’s biggest copper deposits.