Suncor boss Mark Little stepping down 'effective immediately'

Calgary-based oil giant Suncor Energy announced Friday that its chief executive Mark Little is stepping down, stating the move was “effective immediately.”

The company said its board and Little mutually agreed he would depart as president and CEO and resign from the board. Suncor’s executive vice-president of downstream operations, Kris Smith, has been named interim CEO.

The development comes a day after Occupational Health and Safety announced it is investigating the death of a 26-year-old contractor who was struck by equipment at Suncor’s Base Mine near Fort McMurray, Alta.

Thursday’s death was the fifth workplace fatality at a Suncor site in Alberta since 2021.

Suncor did not mention the incidents in its news release Friday but did discuss safety as a priority at the company.

“Suncor is committed to achieving safety and operational excellence across our business, and we must acknowledge where we have fallen short and recognize the critical need for change,” said board chair Michael Wilson in a statement.

“We commend Mark for his professionalism and the exceptional work he did to guide Suncor through the pandemic and lead our sector’s progressive approach to the energy transition.

“We thank him for his years of service with the company and wish him well.”

Little joined the company in 2008 and served in several leadership roles in the company’s oilsands and international and offshore operations prior to moving to the top of Suncor’s ranks.

He moved from chief operating officer to become president of the company in late 2018 and assumed the post of chief executive officer a few months later.

Suncor said it has formed a CEO search committee to conduct a global search to select the company’s next top executive. It said it’s engaging a global executive recruiting firm to assist with this process. 

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By Jon Doe