The other big part of the transformation at Coeur Mining was the move from Idaho to Chicago in 2013.
“I saw a fork in the road where we could either incrementally chip away at some of this organizational change, and we probably would get there over a period of five to 10 years,” Krebs says. “The other fork was to start with a clean sheet of paper and redesign an organization the way we thought it needed to be structured to accomplish our business goals.”
The move was driven in large part by the fact that the company had sold its last asset in Idaho a few years earlier. So the only piece of the company left in the state was the corporate headquarters.
“We wanted an HQ city that reflected our commitment to doings things a different way,” Krebs says. “So we picked a city where there is nobody in terms of precious metal mining. If we mean what we say, our decisions and actions need to support that.”
When that decision was made, Krebs worked hard to make the transition as seamless as possible for everyone. That included the people who would try to make the move to Chicago and those who would be parting ways with the company. Krebs wanted every decision to be made with a deep sense of respect.
“We went to great lengths to protect the company so we could hire people and have somebody train a new person in their position, but do it in a way that kept the existing people in place through incentives that were helpful to them,” Krebs says.
“It was critical to maintain some of that organizational knowledge to ensure we could still run the business day to day.”
As Coeur Mining settles in to its new home in Chicago, Krebs knows more challenges will arise. But he also feels good about his team’s readiness to deal with those challenges.
“We’ve built up this horsepower of talent and now we need to focus and apply it to execute on the operational side to improve our overall pipeline of assets, reduce our costs and really build a sustainable mining company,” Krebs says. “Now we can do the kinds of things that move the needle for our shareholders.”