Sandra Hanington to resign as CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint

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by Ursula Kampmann
translated by Almuth Klingner

May 31, 2018 – Sandra Hanington is resigning as CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint as of July 1st, 2018. On May 22nd, 2018, she unexpectedly announced she would be prematurely terminating her five-year contract. A press release by the Royal Canadian Mint reads as follows:

Sandra Hanington. Photo: UK.

“Ottawa, Ontario – May 22, 2018 – CEO and President Sandra L. Hanington announced today she is leaving the Royal Canadian Mint, effective July 1, 2018.

‘After considerable thought and reflection, I am confident the timing of my decision is right for the corporation and for me,’ Hanington said.

The decision comes on the heels of the Mint winning its largest foreign single denomination circulation coining contract, making a $93.2 million dividend payment to the federal government as well as great success commemorating Canada 150.

‘This experience has been tremendous but also highly demanding. As I move on to the next stage of my career, I hope to attain that elusive balance so many seek in their professional and personal lives,’ said Hanington.

On the recommendation of the Mint’s Board of Directors, the minister of finance has confirmed CFO and Vice-President of Finance and Administration Jennifer Camelon will serve as interim president and CEO until the federal government appoints a permanent replacement through an open and transparent selection process.

‘Sandra Hanington has made important contributions to the Royal Canadian Mint, and I highly value her commitment to good governance, innovation and sustainability. I wish her well as she and her family embark on this new chapter, and thank her for commitment to ensuring a seamless transition,’ said Finance Minister Bill Morneau.”

Thus far, the official statement. The Canadian press further reports on Phyllis Clark joining the board – according to officials, the simultaneous personnel changes are pure coincidence. Clark will replace Susan Dujmovic who, in August 2017, resigned prematurely after having held her position for only two of the originally agreed-upon five years.

It is understandable. Holding a position of responsibility at the Royal Canadian Mint is not an easy job these days. Over the last few years, the mint has had to face numerous problems:

In February 2015, Sandra Hanington was announced as new CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint. At the time, she was Executive Vice President at the BMO Financial Group and had already made it to the list of Canada’s 100 most powerful women three times.

Just a few months after her entry into the job, the Royal Canadian Mint became the target of a tabloid smear campaign because of the expense policy of Hanington’s predecessors.

Another thing weighing on Sandra Hanington’s mind must have been the return of many 20-, 50- and 100-dollar commemorative coins which unsatisfied Canadians gave back to the mint for the respective nominal value after the price of silver had fallen. The resulting costs drastically lowered the Royal Canadian Mint’s 2016 profit.

And not to forget the two thefts, putting the Royal Canadian Mint in the news in 2016 and 2018.

On top of that, add the unpleasant legal battle with the Royal Australian Mint about a patent for a color-printing method for circulation coins, which started in 2017 and by now has entered the second round. Another issue a potential successor of Sandra Hanington will inherit.

Not an easy legacy.

Here, you will find the official press release announcing the resignation of Sandra Hanington.

Naturally, the Canadian press also covered the resignation; both articles are similar in content: Read the National Post or the North Shore News.