Finweek - English

RISING FROM THE ASHES

this April, straight-talking Aussie Mark Cutifani will have been at the helm of Anglo American for seven years, a year longer than at AngloGold Ashanti, which he joined in 2007, and outlasting the ‘generation’ of CEOs who in 2013 joined but have since left Anglo’s most commonly-cited competitors – BHP and Rio Tinto.

Cutifani may even see off Ivan Glasenberg, provided the Glencore boss backs up recent hints that 2020 will be his last year in charge at the Swiss minerals trading and mining firm.

“I’m young and feeling energetic,” says Cutifani when asked by finweek if retirement had crossed his mind lately. “I have a good relationship with the board. We continue to think about the future, but there are no plans for me to go in the immediate term.”

Cutifani’s longevity is a remarkable achievement for a CEO at a major mining company, especially one that’s been on Anglo’s kind of rollercoaster. The company’s shares slumped to R55 apiece in 2016 as commodity prices bottomed out, following a decade of unsaddled, head-over-heels supply growth that burdened balance sheets and earned the world’s mining sector a reputation for wasteful capital spending.

Until the coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis struck, however, Anglo’s stock was at R415 a share, challenging its latest five-year high achieved in January.

Analysts like the fact Anglo has delivered on its promises. Despite an 18-month stutter during 2015-2016 in which Cutifani toyed with the sale of the firm’s South African iron ore- and thermal coal-producing companies – Kumba Iron Ore and Anglo Coal – before changing his mind,

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