Endeavour Mining Sacks CEO for ‘Serious Misconduct’

The FTSE 100 gold miner has let its chief executive go after investigating an irregular payment instruction

Alliance News 5 January, 2024 | 11:16AM
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Endeavour Mining (EDV) has sacked its chief executive for "serious misconduct" with immediate effect.

On Thursday the gold miner said the former president and chief executive Sebastien de Montessus was let go following an investigation into an irregular payment instruction issued by him in relation to an asset disposal undertaken by the company.

Endeavour, which has assets in nations including Senegal and Burkina Faso, is down more than 10% since the news broke on Thursday afternoon.

The irregular payment instruction amounted to $5.9 million and was discovered in the course of an ongoing review of acquisitions and disposals.

de Montessus responded to the allegations, saying in 2021 he had instructed a creditor to "offset an amount owed to the company to pay for essential security equipment to protect our partners and employees in a conflict zone".

This had "no additional cost to the company" and "did not benefit [him] personally in any way", he maintained.

However, de Montessus conceded that omitting to inform the board of the arrangement was "a lapse in judgement".

Separately, in October 2023, allegations were made against de Montessus through the company’s confidential whistleblowing channel relating to his personal conduct with colleagues.

Following a recent external investigation, the board had received the findings and, at the point of termination, said it was considering the appropriate course of action.

de Montessus added: "This week I was given 48 hours' notice of the concerns and no proper opportunity to answer them. As to the other investigation: no misconduct of any kind was discovered because none occurred. I am proud of what we have built together at Endeavour over the past 8 years. I will take my time to consider my position with my advisers."

Ian Cockerill, currently deputy chair, has been appointed chief executive officer and executive director with immediate effect.

Sebastien de Montessus has led Endeavour since 2016, and was reportedly paid £8.9 million in 2022, below the £18.8 million he was handed in 2021.

The bumper pay package in 2021 was a reward for the company successfully shifting its primary listing from Canada to London.

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Securities Mentioned in Article

Security NamePriceChange (%)Morningstar
Endeavour Mining PLC1,704.00 GBX3.09

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