02_Rob McEwen

Mine Your Best Resource

Talk about breaking the mold in a closed industry! Back in 1995, Rob McEwen’s company discovered gold where most experts said it couldn’t be found. Shortly afterward, its unionized workforce went on strike. “We had to determine the potential of this discovery quickly, by sharing information about it with the world,” says McEwen. “Never before had a mining company made such information public.” The $500,000 Internet Goldcorp Challenge generated more than 475,000 Web hits from some 50 countries. The end result? “In 2001,” says McEwen, “Goldcorp’s share price increased 101%.”


Rob McEwen
Chairman and CEO, Goldcorp Inc.
Toronto, Ontario


Describe one or more of your core leadership principles.
Challenge the NORM! I have pushed all of Goldcorp’s employees to test the validity of entrenched assumptions within our mining industry. My goal is to engage the collective wisdom of Goldcorp’s workforce to identify and implement alternative methods that are faster, more productive and more profitable. When achieved, this hard-earned success perpetuates growth. There is a tremendous opportunity to build wealth in the mining industry through the adoption of outside technology.

Show us your leadership in action: a decision that you made, a situation in which you led and that put your principles to the test.
GLOBAL BRAINSTORMING… Breaking the mold in a closed industry! In March 2001, Goldcorp announced the winners of its US$500,000 internet “Goldcorp Challenge.” The first of its’ kind, sharing valuable information on its’ rich gold deposit, with the world. Never before had any mining company made this type of information public. Within the 4 month registration period, the “Goldcorp Challenge” website received over 475,000 hits and more than 1,400 individuals, from 50 countries registered for “The Challenge.” An independent panel of judges selected 25 semi-finalists, from 6 countries and ultimately 4 finalists. This was a radical departure from traditional ways.

Describe the biggest obstacle you were up against.
Conventional Wisdom, or “following the herd,” was the biggest obstacle. In 1995, we discovered gold where most experts said it wasn’t. Shortly afterwards our unionized workforce went on strike. The timing was bad. A falling gold price and our high cost operation meant a limited future. We needed to quickly determine the potential of this discovery in order to survive. Our internet gold-rush was designed to compress time. Prior to its launch our geologists were aprehensive. Would our competitors seeing our riches, make a takeover bid? The Goldcorp Challenge shocked the industry.

Document the results of your leadership style.
The Goldcorp Challenge created a wealth of new ideas that have dramatically shortened our exploration time frames. Today Goldcorp owns the richest gold deposit on the planet. Goldcorp has had outstanding share price performance, 30% compound annual growth since January 1993! Goldcorp is listed on both the New York and Toronto Stock Exchanges. Its’ performance during this period has surpassed that of the DJIA, NASDAQ, IBM and is quickly closing in on Microsoft. Year to date, Goldcorps’ share price has increased by more than 80%.