(Reuters) -Suncor Energy Inc said on Friday its chief executive, Mark Little, has stepped down after a string of fatalities at Canada’s third-largest oil producer.

Little was also stepping down as president and resigning from the board effective immediately, the company said in a statement https://sustainability-prd-cdn.suncor.com/-/media/project/suncor/files/news-releases/2022/2022-07-08-suncor-energy-announces-ceo-transition-en.pdf?modified=20220708225627&_ga=2.68797265.116328003.1657326315-1599808855.1657326315.

Kris Smith, the company’s executive vice president of downstream will replace Little as interim CEO, the Calgary, Canada, based company said.

A worker was killed on Thursday at Suncor’s oil sands base plant in northern Alberta the second fatality at the site this year. Thirteen employees and contractors have died in accidents at Suncor sites since 2014, including the latest fatality.

“Suncor is committed to achieving safety and operational excellence across our business, and we must acknowledge where we have fallen short and recognize the critical need for change,” board chair Michael Wilson said in a statement.

Activist investment firm Elliott Management has pushed Suncor to add new board directors, overhaul management and begin a strategic review.

U.S.-headquartered Elliott also said Suncor faces operational challenges and safety issues.

(Reporting by Abinaya Vijayaraghavan in Bengaluru; Editing by Sandra Maler and William Mallard)