Anglo American picks AngloGold Ashanti boss as CEO

by Roland Jackson
AFP News
Anglogold Ashanti chief executive Mark Cutifani gestures on November 21, 2012 at the first Africa CEO Forum in Geneva
Anglogold Ashanti chief executive Mark Cutifani gestures on November 21, 2012 at the first Africa CEO Forum in Geneva. Anglo American on Tuesday announced that Cutifani will take up the reins at the global mining giant in April

Global miner Anglo American named AngloGold Ashanti boss Mark Cutifani on Tuesday as its new chief executive to succeed Cynthia Carroll.

"Anglo American plc announces the appointment of Mark Cutifani as chief executive, with effect from 3 April 2013," the London-listed group said in an official statement.

Australian Cutifani, 54, has been chief executive officer of South Africa-based gold producer AngloGold Ashanti since 2007, during which time he has led a major restructuring of the business.

Anglo had announced in October that US citizen Carroll had decided to step down from the helm of the mining giant, which was hit by violent strike action in South Africa last year.

Carroll's tenure has also taken in the global financial crisis and a massive boom in demand for commodities particularly from Asian powerhouse China, which is the world's second-biggest economy.

Anglo Chairman John Parker described Cutifani as a "highly respected leader" in the sector.

"Mark Cutifani is an experienced listed company chief executive with a focus on creating value," Parker said in the statement.

"He is a seasoned miner, with broad experience of mining operations and projects across a wide range of commodities and geographies, including South Africa and the Americas.

"Mark is a highly respected leader in the global mining industry, with values strongly aligned to those of Anglo American. We look forward to welcoming him as our chief executive."

The news was welcomed by investors, who sent Anglo's share price soaring 2.50 percent to 2,050.5 pence on London's FTSE 100 index of top companies, which was 0.16 percent higher at 6,074.28 points in morning deals.

"The new CEO comes with a proven track record and the confirmation of his appointment has contributed to a spike in the share price in early trade," noted analyst Richard Hunter at British brokerage Hargreaves Lansdown.

"Investors will now be hoping that the fortunes of Anglo American can be revived after a period of relative underperformance."

Cutifani will meanwhile stay on as chief executive of AngloGold Ashanti until the end of March.

"Anglo American has some of the highest quality mining operations and projects amongst its diversified peer group, bound together within a company with a deep sense of responsibility," added Cutifani in the statement.

"I am delighted to have the opportunity to lead Anglo American at this important stage in its journey, to unlock the company's very considerable value potential."

Carroll, 55, will step down from the board in April and leave the company at the end of that month.

"Cynthia Carroll is an inspirational leader who has had a transformational impact on Anglo American," added Parker.

"Among many other things, her legacy will include a step change improvement in safety, sustainability and the quality of our engagement with stakeholders."

Carroll took the top job at Anglo American in 2007 after 18 years in the aluminium industry with Alcan, including five as president and chief executive of its primary metals arm.

Her appointment was the first time that the 96-year-old company had appointed an outsider to the top job.