Q&A with Mitch Krebs

by Thomas Watson
published by Ivey Business Journal, 2015
Ref 9B15TB03

Q&A with Mitch Krebs Even as a child in Iowa, Mitch Krebs dreamed of running a company. After realising his ambition and becoming CEO of Coeur Mining, the largest silver producer based in the US, he realised within a week that all was not well.

This interview with Mitch Krebs explores the unexpected challenges he faced in his new role. The business had grown quickly but the organisation had not evolved with it, and growth was not being well managed.

But instead of wasting time changing culture, Mitch Krebs built a new one by moving the company to Chicago, a non-traditional mining city, and replacing most of the corporate office. The firm he had inherited was informal and decentralised, as well as overly focused on next-month and next-quarter results to the extent that it risked losing sight of relations with the communities in which it operated and communication strategies.

Mitch Krebs set a goal for Coeur to become the best precious metals mining company in the world, not the biggest.

In this interview, he praises the value of organisational change, and recognises the worth of good relationships as the best lesson he learned in business school. For any team to excel, he states, a firm has to have the right kind of constructive conflicts that focus on the problem involved, not the people. Finally, he cautions against building anything in the mining industry until you know exactly where the money is going to come from. 

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About the authors

Thomas Watson is Editor of the Ivey Business Journal. He is an award-winning business journalist with practical experience in the corporate world, where he managed practice groups at international marketing firms and headed investor relations for a global venture capital outfit.

 

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