Mining chief jumps ship
AngloGold Ashanti searches for new CEO amid hopes for black executive to take the reins
IT REMAINS to be seen whether AngloGold Ashanti will hire a black chief exective officer to take over the reins in the wake of the resignation of Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan, who has been with the company for 18 years.
Venkatakrishnan has accepted an offer to become chief executive of Vedanta Resources, which is a global diversified metals and mining company headquartered in London, after five years as CEO of AngloGold Ashanti.
A global search for the new CEO is under way, with a subcommittee of the board put in place to evaluate internal and external candidates.
The group has expressed an intention to identify a new CEO before Venkat’s departure at the end of August.
Venkatakrishnan’s appointment to Vedanta comes as a rebound in metals prices has prompted the miner to expand production of zinc and aluminium, enabling it to continue its recovery after it was hit hard by the commodities slump which ended in 2016.
However, the company has been facing protests against a proposed expansion of the company’s copper smelting plant in southern India and said last month it would take a charge up to $600m (R7.2bn) due to the closure of its iron ore business in the country.
“The board will search globally for a candidate with the requisite experience and breadth of expertise,” AngloGold Ashanti chairperson Sipho Pityana said.
Venkat assumed the role of CEO in May 2013, soon after the gold price fell by nearly a third.
Under his leadership, AngloGold Ashanti said it achieved a 16% reduction in all-in sustaining costs, a 30% reduction in all in costs, a two-thirds reduction in overhead expenditure, a one-third reduction in debt, successful completion of two new mining projects and at least five consecutive years of either meeting or beating its market guidance metrics.
“Productivity over the five years increased by 26%, from 7.66oz a total employee costed in 2012 to 9.66oz-TEC in 2017”.
Pityana said: “He has embedded a culture of consistency and accountability in the business and has created the ability for the company to thrive in a range of market conditions.”
Venkatakrishnan will succeed interim CEO Kuldip Kaura at Vedanta in the top job effective from August 31.
VACANCY: AngloGold Ashanti is searching for a new CEO, preferably a black one, after the resignation of the incumbent Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan.