Hunger Games? Here's why more Fortescue (ASX:FMG) execs are calling time out on the miner

Why is Fortescue's staff exodus being compared to a game to the death?

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Key points

  • The Fortescue Metals Group share price is 5% in the red on Tuesday
  • More senior executives and managers are said to be exiting the company 
  • Fortescue is due to report its latest earnings results tomorrow

The Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (ASX: FMG) share price is down 5% today amid news the company is facing a staff exodus.

The Fortescue share price is currently trading at $21.60, a 5.03% fall. In comparison, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) is 0.29% in the red at the time of writing.

Let's take a look at the latest news on the company.

What's in the water at Fortescue?

Fortescue is facing a mass exodus of senior executives and managers, The Australian reported. Communities group manager Heath Nelson is rumoured to be leaving the company along with Fortescue Future Industries global resources manager Nadia Butler. The West Australian also reported these departures.

In further reports in The Australian, Fortescue Future Industries commercial head Bethwyn Cowcher and funding group manager Penny Stonier are also said to be leaving Fortescue. Based on their LinkedIn profiles, Cowcher started at Fortescue in January 2012 while Stonier has been with the company since June 2009.

As my Foolish colleague James reported in December, Fortescue's CEO Elizabeth Gaines has also stepped down as CEO. She will transition to the role of non-executive director and assist with a global search for her replacement.

The latest exodus follows the departure of several other directors and senior staff over the past 12 months.

Staff who spoke to The Australian in December have likened the company's culture to 'the Hunger Games'. The Hunger Games is a series of dystopian novels and films where competitors are engaged in a brutal fight to the death. The game ends when only one person remains alive.

But in response to this suggestion, Fortescue chair Andrew 'Twiggy' Forrest defended the company. He said:

Yes, I can see that people can misinterpret that as Hunger Games, but it's not – it's efficiency. It's called strength of selection.

Fortescue is due to report its earnings tomorrow. On a positive note for the company, JP Morgan analysts are expecting earning results and profit forecasts to land ahead of consensus.

As my Foolish colleague Zach reported, JP Morgan is looking for an H1 FY22 net profit after tax (NPAT) of $2.77 billion (consensus $2.70 billion) and 86 cents per share dividend.

Fortescue share price snap shot

The Fortescue share price has surged 13% year to date but fell more than 11% in the past 12 months.

For perspective, the benchmark index has returned around 5% over the last year.

Fortescue has a massive market capitalisation of around $67 billion based on today's share price.

The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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