Benoit La Salle was appointed President & CEO of Aya in April 2020, bringing with him over 25 years experience in developing and operating responsible mining companies in West Africa based on community empowerment. In 1995, Mr. La Salle founded Canadian-based SEMAFO Inc., which grew from a junior explorer to a +250,000 ounce-per-year gold producer in West Africa, and established SEMAFO Foundation in 2008 to support its local communities. Since 2010, he has held board positions at six public companies in addition to founding three West African-focused exploration companies and one privately held power producer. An active contributor to the non-profit sector, Mr. La Salle is a former board director and chair of Plan International Canada and currently serves as Chairman of the Board of The Canadian Council on Africa since 2013.
Benoit is a member of the Ordre des comptables professionnels agréés du Québec. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from McGill University and a Master of Business Administration degree from IMEDE, Switzerland.