Boardroom Bulletin: ABC, IGO




Two leading companies lost their CEOs yesterday in very different circumstances.

The first was building products and lime producer, Adbri (ASX: ABC) which has revealed the departure of CEO Nick Miller yesterday in a surprise statement to the ASX.

The news saw investors punish the company with the shares losing 20% in value. They ended the day at $1.45, down just over 20%. That’s the lowest the shares have been for more than 17 years.

Mr Miller will step down as a Director and the Board will work with him to transition his executive responsibilities in an orderly manner.

"The Board has determined that it is an appropriate time for a change in leadership and the Board thanked Mr Miller for his service, particularly during the challenges of Covid-19.

"Experienced senior executive Mr Mark Irwin has been appointed as interim CEO and will start in the role tomorrow.

Adbri Chair, Raymond Barro said in the statement “On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Nick for his contribution to Adbri over the past few years, particularly for his leadership through the challenges presented by COVID-19.

“We welcome Mark Irwin as interim CEO. Mark brings considerable experience to Adbri from senior executive roles within some of Australia’s leading listed industrial companies, including OZ Minerals, BHP, Asciano, Transfield and GrainCorp.

“Mark’s immediate priorities upon joining will be driving our commercial performance in all end markets to improve margins and offset cost pressures, while accelerating our cost reduction and operational efficiency initiatives. He will also focus on our capital deployment to ensure efficiency and effectiveness in the current environment, in order to deliver the best returns for shareholders.”

The Barro family of Melbourne is Adbri’s biggest shareholder with more than 42% of the issued shares, so the sharp fall yesterday will deliver a big whack to its fortunes.

Adbri said it will soon commence an extensive recruitment process for a permanent CEO.


It was a very different story at nickel-lithium miner IGO Ltd (ASX: IGO) which revealed the surprise death on Saturday of CEO Peter Bradford at the age of 64.

Mr Bradford had been CEO of IGO since 2014 and had driven the company’s transformation from being a small nickel and copper miner as Independent Group NL, into the more diversified IGO with growing interests in lithium and its processing and deeper into nickel, copper and cobalt - especially after the hard-fought battle to take over rival Western Areas in 2021-22.

Before that he held senior positions internationally and within Australia with Ashanti Goldfields (and Golden Shamrock Mines), Golden Star Resources, Anvil Mining, Copperbelt Minerals and PMI Gold.

The company said it had appointed Chief Operating Officer Matt Dusci as acting CEO.

In addition to his role at IGO, Mr Bradford was President of AMEC (the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies), an active mentor for Women in Mining WA (WIMWA), and a former WA Mining Club committee member and Vice President.

IGO Chair Michael Nossal said in the statement that “On behalf of the Board, I wish to extend our sincerest and heartfelt condolences to Peter’s wife Vicki and his children and everyone who was fortunate enough to know Peter as we did. The news of his death is devastating to everyone at IGO.”

Mr Dusci has over 25 years’ experience in the mining industry. He joined IGO in 2014 and was appointed Chief Operating Officer in early 2018, having previously served as IGO’s Chief Growth Officer.

Understandably, IGO shares were softer on the news of Mr Bradford’s death, although they did rally late to end the day just 1% lower at $15.11.