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Friday, January 16, 2009

Aaron Regent Takes Over CEO Reigns of Barrick Gold

Aaron Regent became the head of Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX) today, succeeding company founder and chairman Peter Munk, 81. Munk had stepped into the role when former CEO Greg Wilkins had to go on leave for medical reasons. Wilkins stepped down in July.

While Regent is one of the younger CEOs in the industry, he comes with a lot of experience in mining, as a co-CEO and senior managing partner of Brookfield Asset Management, and also as president of Falconbridge Ltd., a global mining company.

Munk said concerning hiring Regent to head the company he launched:

"I watched that (sale) from the sidelines and I think there was nobody in the mining industry who would not have had the greatest admiration for Aaron's sense of strategic evaluation. I think truly for a man who is 40-odd-years-old and has Aaron's kind of experience, the future is unlimited."

Laying out his priorities for the company, Regent said he's going to focus on exploration, project development and acquisitions, but quickly added that things aren't going to be changing much going ahead, as things are operationally solid.

His first steps will be to travel to visit the assets of the company to build up and understanding of the entire company, along with spending some time getting to know his management team and receiving their input.

Last quarter the company reported net profits of $254 million, down from the $345 million last year.

Barrick Gold is the largest gold mining company in the world.

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