BARRICK Gold Corporation founder and chairman Peter Munk will retire at the company’s 2014 annual general meeting.

Mr Munk founded Barrick in 1983, growing the company from a small junior producer with one mine into the global gold industry leader with operations on five continents.

John L. Thornton, who has played an increasingly important role at Barrick since his appointment as co-chairman in 2012, will become chairman at the 2014 AGM.

In addition to Mr Munk, Howard Beck and Brian Mulroney have informed the board that they will not stand for re-election as directors at the company’s 2014 AGM.

As such, the board of directors has nominated four new candidates for election as independent directors – Canada-based Ned Goodman, Nancy Lockhart and David Naylor and American Ernie Thrasher.

Barrick also announced the appointment of James Gowans as executive vice presidetn and chief operating officer.

Mr Gowans has 40 years of international mining and management experience with a demonstrated track record of operational excellence.

Donald Carty and Robert Franklin have also resigned from the company board, having joined it when Barrick acquired Placer Dome in 2006.

Following the implementation of these changes at the company’s 2014 AGM, the board will be more than two-thirds independent, with 10 independent directors and four non-independent directors.

Barrick will also put forward a new executive compensation plan, which will align fully with the principle of pay-for-performance, further linking compensation with the long-term interests of shareholders.