UPDATE 4-Chile's state-run Codelco removes CEO Keller

viernes 6 de junio de 2014 15:36 GYT

* Keller, board had differences of vision and style

* Move follows change in Chile government, Codelco board

* Interim CEO to be named on June 13 (Adds political context, comment, Codelco statement)

By Alexandra Ulmer

SANTIAGO, June 6 (Reuters) - Chilean state-run copper miner Codelco said it was removing Chief Executive Officer Thomas Keller to seek new leadership at a pivotal time for the company, with observers seeing a shift in style likely rather than major business changes.

Keller, a former retail executive, earned plaudits for his efforts to overhaul old mines and cut costs at the world's No. 1 copper producer, but his tough stance toward labor activism triggered tensions with Codelco's powerful unions and the country's new center-left government.

The board, recently reshuffled by President Michelle Bachelet, voted 5-3, with one abstention, to remove Keller, who was named CEO in 2012 during the conservative administration of Sebastian Pinera.

"We asked Thomas Keller to tender his resignation as CEO as a result of the company's move towards a new phase with new challenges that require new leadership," board head Oscar Landerretche told journalists after a more than five-hour meeting that ended Friday morning.

Keller will remain in place until June 13, when an interim CEO will be named, Codelco said in a statement, adding that it would form a committee to select a replacement.   Continuación...