Anglo American announced that Cynthia Carroll has decided to step down as chief executive, with the board’s agreement. She will remain in her post until a successor has been appointed and an appropriate transition has taken place. Carroll was appointed to the Anglo American board in January 2007 and formally took over as chief executive in March of that year.
Under Carroll’s leadership, after a record year in 2008, the group successfully weathered the global financial crisis, according to Anglo American. In 2011, Anglo American again achieved record profits and delivered three major projects, enabling it to enter the current economic downturn in a strong position.
Establishing herself as an executive in a male-dominated industry, Carroll reorganized the company and won respect for improving safety and record profits. Analysts and investors have criticized how she handled the Minas Rio iron ore mine in Brazil. After acquiring it for $6.6 billion, and investing an additional $3.25 billion, the project is now reportedly worth an estimated $4.3 billion. Two more projects, a copper mine in Chile and a nickel mine in Brazil, are also running over budget.
“It has been a great honor to lead Anglo American,” Carroll said. “I am extremely proud of everything we have achieved during my period as chief executive and I will always retain enormous admiration and affection for this great company and its outstanding people. It is a very difficult decision to leave, but next year I will be entering my seventh year as chief executive and I feel that the time will be right to hand over to a successor who can build further on the strong foundations we have created.”
Paying tribute to Carroll, Anglo American Chairman Sir John Parker said: “Cynthia’s leadership has had a transformational impact on Anglo American. She developed a clear strategy, based on a highly attractive range of core commodities, and created a strong and unified culture and a streamlined organization with a focus on operational performance. Her legacy will include, among many other things, a step change improvement in safety, sustainability and the quality of our dialogue with governments, communities and other stakeholders. Her values represent the very best of Anglo American.
In addition to her executive role, Carroll was also the chairman of Anglo American Platinum and of De Beers and she will also relinquish those roles when she steps down as chief executive of Anglo American.
Readers can watch a video interview at: http://merchantcantos.net/anglo-american/2012/announcement.