Toronto-based AuRico Gold (NYSE: AUQ ) lost its executive chairman today, when Colin Benner announced that he is taking a leave of absence for unspecified "health reasons." No posited return date was given.
Ron Smith, Audit Committee chair and lead director on the Board of Directors, is taking over Benner's responsibilities "in the interim" in the capacity of non-executive chairman.
Over the past year, AuRico stock has suffered even out of proportion to the generally dismal results seen elsewhere in the gold-mining industry. Its loss of 45% of market cap over the past 52 weeks dwarfs even the 24% decline at Goldcorp, and the 29% decline at Newmont Mining, for example.
This poor performance may be one reason investors didn't take a small shift in management style particularly amiss today. AuRico shares finished up 0.1% in Tuesday trading, not out of line with changes seen elsewhere in the stock market.