Li-Cycle cuts workforce, shakes up management team

Lithium-ion battery recycler Li-Cycle has announced it is cutting 17% of its workforce and restructuring its senior management team.

In a statement the company said it expects to reduce approximately 60 positions, representing approximately 17% of the Company’s global workforce. It estimates it will incur charges of approximately $8.3 million in connection with the workforce reductions, with the majority of these costs being severance payments over the next twelve months. These steps are expected to generate approximately $10 million in payroll and benefit cost savings on an annualized basis.

It will also move from its regional management structure to a centralized model.

Tim Johnston, executive chair, will move to the role of interim non-executive board chair, where he will provide leadership, support, guidance and strategic advice. Following a $22 million investment frfom Glencore, Li-Cycle expects an independent board chair to be nominated.

Conor Spollen, who has been with Li-Cycle since January 2022, has assumed the role of chief operating officer (COO). Spollen will be responsible for Li-Cycle’s global spoke operations and project delivery and the planned operation of the Rochester hub. Spollen has more than 33 years of international mining and metallurgical experience, serving in leadership roles, including at Vale, where he was, among other roles, COO for Vale Base Metals’ operating mines and processing facilities in Canada, UK, China and Japan.

Dawei Li, who has been with Li-Cycle since July 2021, has assumed the new role of chief commercial officer (CCO). Li will lead Li-Cycle’s global commercial function and consolidate the global team’s strategy and approach to continue building strong partnerships with key battery market players. He previously led Li-Cycle’s Asia-Pacific region and brings 20 years of experience. Li previously served as global business director for lithium carbonate at Albemarle Corporation.  

CFO Debbie Simpson will be leaving the company to pursue new opportunities. Simpson will continue to support the team until May 31, 2024.

Craig Cunningham has joined Li-Cycle as its interim CFO, effective immediately. Cunningham brings more than 17 years of accounting, finance, operational, and capital markets experience. Most recently, he was CFO at Electra Battery Materials and before that served as vice-president and regional financial officer at Kinross Gold.

Richard Storrie will no longer be regional president, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). He will continue in an advisory role until May 31, 2024, to support the transition.

“We are recalibrating our organizational structure to better align with the more focused priorities of Li-Cycle. We believe that a centralized model, and the consolidation of our operational and commercial teams, will increase efficiencies and facilitate cross-functional partnerships to enhance our planning process and ability to execute on our short- and long-term objectives,” said Ajay Kochhar, Li-Cycle president and CEO.

“We remain focused on our key initiatives of completing our review of the go-forward plan for the Rochester Hub and evaluating additional financing and strategic alternatives after securing and closing the recent strategic financing from Glencore.”