Suncor Energy Inc. tapped LNG Canada Chief Executive Officer Peter Zebedee to head its mining and upgrading operations as the oil sands producer grapples with a series of fatal accidents.

Zebedee will join Suncor as executive vice president of mining and upgrading starting April 11. At LNG Canada, he spent almost three years leading a consortium of companies including Shell Plc that are building a $40 billion (US$31.8 billion) liquefied natural gas export project on the British Columbia Coast. He will replace Mike MacSween, whose early retirement from Suncor was announced last week. 

Zebedee, who has more than 25 years of experience in the oil sands, will lead a unit that’s been plagued by a series of fatal mishaps in recent years, including a truck accident in January that killed a contractor and injured two other workers at the Base Plant mine. Other fatal accidents included a death at Suncor’s Syncrude mine last June and two deaths in December 2020 at the Fort Hills mine. 

Zebedee will leave LNG Canada on March 29. Steve Corbin, LNG Canada’s executive project director, who will serve as interim chief executive until a permanent CEO is announced. 

Suncor shares fell 0.3 per cent on Tuesday. The stock price has risen 51 per cent in the past year, under-performing rivals Cenovus Energy Inc., Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., and Imperial Oil Ltd.