Barrick Gold picks Parnell to head up communications

TORONTO: Barrick Gold Corporation has appointed former Ernst & Young PR chief Lawrence Parnell to be SVP for communications and IR.

TORONTO: Barrick Gold Corporation has appointed former Ernst & Young PR chief Lawrence Parnell to be SVP for communications and IR.

In this newly created position that brings together PR, IR, and employee relations, Parnell will report directly to the company's president and CEO Greg Wilkins. Parnell said he expects that Barrick, one of the world's leading gold producers, will hire senior-level IR staff in the US and reevaluate its external PR relationships.

"Barrick has not gone the AOR route in a number of years, and instead has used specialists in key areas," Parnell said. "We'll take a look at that."

Parnell was director of global PR for the accounting firm Ernst & Young during the wave of scandals that rocked some of the industry's biggest names during the past two years.

Prior to that, Parnell was an SVP at Ketchum, and early in his career, he counseled several gold-mining companies - including Barrick - on communications issues.

Parnell said his first challenge in his new post will be integrating the three communications functions he now heads.

"Larry brings a broad perspective that meets our needs as an international company where effective and open communications to all constituents is essential," said CEO Wilkins in a release. "His leadership will considerably strengthen our existing investor relations and communications teams."

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