Wesfarmers have announced the forthcoming retirement of Stewart Butel, Managing Director of Wesfarmers Resources since 2006.
Mr Butel will retire at the end of July, supporting a smooth leadership transition in the Resources business, which includes Wesfarmers Curragh and Wesfarmers’ 40 per cent interest in the Bengalla coal mine.
Wesfarmers Managing Director Richard Goyder said Mr Butel had made a huge contribution to the growth of the Resources business and the wider Group since joining Wesfarmers in 2000, following the acquisition of the Curragh mine in Queensland. He was appointed Managing Director of Wesfarmers Premier Coal in 2002 and Director Coal Operations for Wesfarmers Energy in 2005.
“Notwithstanding the more recent challenges in the coal sector, the Curragh acquisition and expansion through Curragh North have been outstanding investments for our shareholders,” Mr Goyder said.
“The strong cash generation from Curragh, under Stewart’s leadership, significantly contributed to our ability to finance the purchase of the Coles Group in 2007. As conditions have become tougher for coal, Stewart and his team have implemented a major cost control and productivity program which has ensured both Curragh and Bengalla remain world-scale, low-cost mines with long mine lives.”
Craig McCabe, currently General Manager of Wesfarmers Curragh, has been appointed to the new role of Chief Operating Officer at Wesfarmers Resources, effective 1 June 2016. He will report to Rob Scott, Managing Director of the Wesfarmers Industrials division.
Mr McCabe has been General Manager of Curragh since 2012 and has more than 15 years’ experience at Curragh in a variety of roles. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Mining), a Bachelor of Science (Geoscience) and a Graduate Certificate in Business Administration.
“Importantly for the sustainability of our coal operations, Stewart and Craig have also driven significant improvements in safety performance and been champions of greater participation by women, including indigenous women, in the resources industry,” Mr Goyder said.