Gold Corporation has finally found its new chief executive – Synergy CEO Jason Waters – after an extensive search following the abrupt and controversial departure of former mint CEO Richard Hayes amid problems hounding the company.
Waters will assume the role effective 26 April from former chief of the WA Treasury Corporation, John Collins, who stepped in temporarily as the acting CEO after Hayes left the company last year ahead of his supposed retirement in April this year.
News reports cited health reasons for Hayes’ sudden departure.
“Jason is a great fit for Gold Corporation and will lead the next chapter of safe and sustainable growth in The Perth Mint’s 123-year-old history,” Sam Walsh, chairman, Gold Corporation said.
“His track record of managing government trading enterprises in the complex energy sector, along with his impressive commercial, strategic and leadership skills make him well-placed to lead this iconic Western Australian organisation.”
Waters becomes the fourth CEO since the company was established in 1987 under the Gold Corporation Act and the 15th leader to take on the role for The Perth Mint since it was established in 1899.
He has been actively involved in the energy sector for 32 years and was appointed as Synergy CEO in 2007 after it was merged with Verve Energy.
“I am honoured to be given the opportunity to lead this 123-year-old global leader in the precious metals sector and a valued and trusted Western Australian employer and partner of choice,” Waters said, in response to his acceptance of the leadership role.
“I look forward to starting in my new role and meeting the Gold Corporation team and all our stakeholders, including the gold miners whose precious metals we safely and securely refine,” he said, noting that the company “is a complex and interesting business and I’m excited by the challenge to lead it in a new chapter of its history.”
The Western Australian government also congratulated Waters on his CEO appointment.
The company, trading as the Perth Mint, was beset by controversies under Hayes’ leadership which included an unfinished IT project that has cost the company more than $100 million and acquiring an estimated $200 million of “conflict gold” from a Papua New Guinean company allegedly operated by a convicted criminal.
Other issues that hounded Hayes’ leadership were unresolved complaints raised in 2017 by senior company staff regarding procurement contracts and hiring decisions, as well as several inquiries by the WA Corruption and Crime Commission.
The allegations prompted WA Premier Mark McGowan to call for an “urgent review” to investigate the issues raised and an inquiry initiated by the WA Senate.
The Perth Mint is one of the world’s largest precious metals producers and the second-largest gold producer next to China.