In 2005, George W. Bush started his second term as president of the United States; King Charles, then still a prince, married Camilla Parker Bowles; and Don Lindsay signed on as president and CEO of preeminent mining company Teck Resources Limited.
In Lindsay’s nearly 18 years at the helm of one of the largest mining companies in Canada, Teck became extraordinarily productive and profitable. In addition to his noteworthy achievements in terms of overall business performance, Lindsay launched several effective sustainability programs and supported numerous nature-friendly initiatives.
After stepping down as Teck Resources’ president and CEO in 2022, Don Lindsay paused for a moment to consider his time with the company and what he’d accomplished there.
“Every day, our people and our products contribute to making the world a better place,” he remarked. “I am extremely proud of what has been achieved during my tenure, and I look forward to supporting the company’s new senior team as they lead Teck into its next phase of growth and success. As I said in my final speech to employees: ‘The best is yet to come.’”
Success at Teck Resources
Thanks to his deep and enduring professional relationships in the mining industry, Teck Resources began focusing on Don Lindsay as a top CEO candidate in the mid-2000s. Despite his initial reluctance, the Teck board of directors ultimately appointed him company president in January 2005, and he assumed the additional responsibility of CEO that April.
One of the largest mining companies in Canada, Vancouver’s Teck Resources is a dominant force in the copper, zinc, and steelmaking coal sectors. A publicly listed business in both Canada and the United States, Teck offers company shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbols TECK.A and TECK.B and on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol TECK.
During Lindsay’s tenure as Teck’s top executive, the company experienced significant gains in terms of both strategic growth and operational efficiency. It generated record-breaking financial results and drove significant returns on investment for shareholders. He oversaw the development of one of the strongest copper growth pipelines in the industry, including the state-of-the-art QB2 copper project currently underway in northern Chile.
As a result of Lindsay’s efforts to expand Teck’s resource base and production capacity, the company reported unprecedented revenue and earnings in 2021. After its record-setting quarterly results in both Q3 and Q4 of 2021, Teck continued to reach new heights in both Q1 and Q2 of 2022.
While successfully leading Teck in the 2010s, Lindsay stepped into the insurance industry to serve as a board member of Manulife. He played a key role in helping to build Manulife into the largest wealth management and insurance companies in Canada, with roughly $1.4 trillion in assets under management and administration.
Don Lindsay’s Decades of Honors and Awards
During his long and storied career, Don Lindsay’s achievements with Teck Resources earned him a range of industry honors including a Mining Person of the Year designation from the Mining Association of British Columbia; a Distinguished Service Medal from the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy, and Petroleum; and a CEO of the Year Award from Business in Vancouver. He also received a Kathleen Beaumont Hill Distinguished Alumni Award from his alma mater, Queen’s University, and honorary doctorate degrees from the University of Windsor Faculty of Law and the British Columbia Institute of Technology.
Lindsay has also received numerous awards for his various contributions to public life and community service. He received the prestigious Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002 and Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012, as well as a British Columbia Community Achievement Award in 2014 and an Association of Fundraising Professionals Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser Award in 2017. As evidenced by his Conservation Champion Award from the Nature Trust of British Columbia, Lindsay is particularly passionate about environmental sustainability. He was named to the Order of British Columbia in 2014.
Over the years, Don Lindsay drove Teck’s commitment to sustainability, positioning the company as an industry leader in environmental, social, and corporate governance. These efforts included setting ambitious targets to become “nature positive” by 2030 and achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Teck’s dedication to nature positivity means that its combined conservation, protection, and restoration efforts will exceed any disturbances caused by its mining activities, according to a 2020 baseline.
“I have a very clear philosophy on all things sustainability,” said Lindsay, “and obviously, it’s in my heart and soul.” In addition to promoting sustainable operations at Teck, he led the company in ecological initiatives that include a $5 million donation to the BC Parks Foundation in 2022. This donation is dedicated to preserving natural spaces and protecting vulnerable wildlife in British Columbia.
Don Lindsay’s Early Career
Adept at both the technical and business side of the mining industry, Don Lindsay holds a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in mining engineering from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, and a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School. After graduating from Harvard, he accepted an entry-level associate position with the premier Canadian investment bank Wood Gundy.
Lindsay found early success at Wood Gundy by establishing a specialty industry group that focused exclusively on the global mining sector. Capitalizing on his expertise in this category while expanding into others, he subsequently became president of investment bank CIBC World Markets, then Canada’s largest investment bank, leading both its Asia Pacific region and its investment and corporate banking division. He also founded CIBC’s Global Mining Group.
Don Lindsay’s Ongoing Work
Although he no longer leads Teck Resources as its president and CEO, Lindsay remains active with the company as an executive vice chairman. He also continues in his role as chairman of Manulife. Furthermore, Lindsay chairs the Invictus Games, serves as an honorary governor of the Royal Ontario Museum, and sits on the board of directors for Alpine Canada, York House School, and the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation.
In short, Don Lindsay is extremely busy. Not too busy, however, to pause to reflect on his time at Teck Resources and the outstanding nature of the work he oversaw there. “It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as Teck’s president and CEO for the past 18 years and to have the opportunity to work alongside so many talented and dedicated people,” said Lindsay. “Together we have built Teck into an industry leader in sustainable resource development, with world-class operations and an unmatched copper growth profile.”
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