MARK Cutifani has been appointed as the new CEO of Anglo American, with effect from April 3, the global resources group said on Tuesday.
He joins Anglo at a challenging time as it tackles restive unions in South Africa, restructures its platinum arm and tries to recover from delays that have driven up the cost of a flagship iron-ore project in Brazil.
Mr Cutifani has been CEO of AngloGold Ashanti, the South Africa-based gold producer, since 2007 and led its successful restructuring and development across operations in 10 countries on four continents.
His relative lack of experience in some of Anglo’s major commodities and geographies such as Brazil — key for the recovery of the group’s share price — had prompted some analysts to question his potential appointment. But his South African credentials — he is also head of the Chamber of Mines — appear to have outweighed other shortcomings.
Prior to his current role, he served as chief operating officer of CVRD Inco, the Canadian nickel company.
Mr Cutifani, who holds a degree in mining engineering and started his career in Australia’s coal and gold mining industries, has experience across a range of commodities.
Commenting on Mr Cutifani’s appointment to what analysts and investors see as one of the toughest jobs in the business, Anglo American chairman Sir John Parker said on Tuesday: "Cutifani is an experienced listed company chief executive with a focus on creating value. 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."
Mr Parker also said Mr Cutifani was a "highly respected leader in the global mining industry, with values strongly aligned to those of Anglo American".
Commenting on his appointment, Mr Cutifani said: "Anglo American has some of the highest-quality mining operations and projects among its diversified peer group, bound together within a company with a deep sense of responsibility. I am delighted to have the opportunity to lead Anglo American at this important stage in its journey, to unlock the company’s considerable value potential."
Anglo American’s current CEO, Cynthia Carroll, will step down from the board at the group’s annual general meeting in April and leave at the end of that month.
She announced in October that she would step down after more than five years at the helm, under pressure from investors unhappy with Anglo’s lagging share price and its dependence on strike-hit South Africa.
Paying tribute to Ms Carroll’s leadership, Mr Parker said: "Cynthia Carroll is an inspirational leader who has had a transformational impact on Anglo American. Among many other things, her legacy will include a step change improvement in safety, sustainability and the quality of our engagement with stakeholders.
"She will be leaving Anglo American with our thanks for everything she has achieved and with our best wishes for the future."
Mr Cutifani’s remuneration package will consist of a basic salary and variable incentive arrangements that Anglo American said were "entirely in line" with its current remuneration policy and practice.