New Codelco CEO takes helm, sees changes ahead
SANTIAGO, Sept 1 (Reuters) - Nelson Pizarro took over as the new chief executive of Chile's Codelco on Monday, vowing to make "all changes necessary" at the world's top copper producer as it embarks on an ambitious multi-billion dollar investment plan.
Industry veteran Pizarro, nicknamed "scissorhands" for his agile management of mining projects, was named CEO of the state-run firm in July, to replace ousted Thomas Keller.
Pizarro said he would take two to three months to audit projects and that personnel adjustments were on the horizon.
"The situation is complex at various operations... we will make all the changes needed to meet our aims," he said in a speech to employees at Codelco's Santiago headquarters on Monday.
"Many of these changes may affect people's interests... this is the most complex part, that we will deal with alongside legitimate worker representatives."
Codelco needs to spend over $20 billion in a program that seeks to revamp its old mines where ore grades are falling. But jobs are likely to be phased out as part of that process.
The company's powerful unions have held major strikes in the past, although mining engineer Pizarro's appointment was well received by them.
"I am famous for being 'scissorhands' but the truth is that I hope that won't be the only attribute I am remembered for," said Pizarro. (Reporting by Fabian Cambero, Writing by Rosalba O'Brien; Editing by Dan Grebler)
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