Li-Cycle leadership changes, job cuts, in cost-savings plan

Li-Cycle leadership changes, job cuts, in cost-savings plan

Li-Cycle leadership changes, job cuts, in cost-savings plan 1024 570 Batteries International

April 3, 2024: Troubled Canadian recycling company Li-Cycle has announced a leadership shake-up and job cuts representing 17% of the firm’s workforce to generate about $10 million in cost savings on an annualized basis.

The restructuring move came just a week after the company said “significant additional funding” would be needed before it can restart construction of its planned Rochester, New York lithium battery recycling hub — as it revealed the cost estimate of the project had increased to $960 million.

President and CEO Ajay Kochhar said on March 26  the company was still focused on completing a technical and economic review of the future of Rochester, but said the firm also needed to form a centralized organization structure to increase efficiencies.

The company expects to axe 60 jobs over the next 12 months.

As part of the changes, executive chair Tim Johnston will transition to the post of interim non-executive board chair to provide leadership, support, guidance and strategic advice, Li-Cycle said.

Further board changes, including naming an independent board chair, are expected after Li-Cycle’s next annual general meeting in May to reflect nomination rights secured by Glencore following its recent  $75 million liquidity boost from Glencore.

Conor Spollen, who has been with Li-Cycle since January 2022, has been appointed COO with responsibility for the company’s global ‘spoke’ operations.

Spollen, a former COO of Vale Base Metals’ operating mines and processing facilities in Canada, UK, China and Japan, will also take on responsibility for the eventual planned operation of the Rochester hub.

Dawei Li, who has been with Li-Cycle since July 2021, has taken on the new post of chief commercial officer and his tasks will include building partnerships with key battery market players. Li is a former global  business director for lithium carbonate at Albemarle Corporation. 

CFO Debbie Simpson is leaving the company but will stay until May 31. The company said she had made a significant contribution to Li-Cycle since joining in 2021.

Meanwhile, Craig Cunningham has joined Li-Cycle as interim CFO with immediate effect. He was most recently CFO at Electra Battery Materials.

Also leaving Li-Cycle will be Richard Storrie, the company’s regional president for the EMEA region. He will continue in an advisory role until May 31.