Centerra Gold hires former AuRico CEO to replace retiring chief executive

TORONTO – Centerra Gold (TSX:CG) has appointed a successor to its chief executive, who announced in March that he would retire by the end of this year.

Scott Perry will officially take over from outgoing Centerra CEO Ian Atkinson on Nov. 1.

Perry was chief executive of AuRico Gold when it agreed to a friendly merger with Alamos Gold (TSX:AGI). He was later chairman of the board at AuRico Metals Inc. (TSX:AMI) after it was spun off as part of the merger.

Perry will remain on the AuRico Metals board as a director but relinquish the chairman’s role.

Centerra runs the massive Kumtor gold mine in Kyrgyzstan and has been embroiled in contentious negotiations with the government over a revenue-splitting deal.

The Toronto-based company has had to contend with the detention in Bulgaria of a former CEO, Leonard Homeniuk, who stepped down in 2008

Homeniuk, now 68, was detained on an international warrant issued by Kyrgyzstan, which accused him of corruption while he headed Centerra and sought his extradition.

However, that request was denied by a Bulgarian court last week, which set Homeniuk free, saying Kyrgyzstan had failed to provide sufficient evidence to support the allegations.

Homeniuk has described the charges as an attempt to pressure the company into signing a more favourable deal.