Anglo American CEO Carroll resigns due to criticism

Cynthia Carroll, CEO at Anglo American Plc

Cynthia Carroll, CEO at Anglo American Plc

On the 26th of October, Cynthia Carroll, chief executive officer at Anglo American Plc, informed that she had resigned from her position with the company’s board of directors’ agreement. Anglo American CEO Cynthia Carroll’s decision to step down was caused by the increasing pressure from company’s shareholders.

The resignation of CEO Carroll

After almost six years in the position of chief executive officer at Anglo American, Cynthia Carroll decided to step down. According to the company’s statement, Anglo American CEO Cynthia Carroll will continue working as long as it takes to find her successor. Cynthia Carroll has been the first non-South African and the first female chief executive of one of the major global mining companies since she was nominated back in 2007.

Anglo American CEO Cynthia Carroll has been recently struggling with increasing criticism from both company’s shareholders and analysts over the underperformance of the company. Her decision regarding the escalating costs of the Minas Rio iron ore project has also been widely criticized.

Yet it was Anglo American CEO Cynthia Carroll who led the major mine global mining company to record profits in 2011.  Due to her decisions, safety at Anglo American’s platinum operation improved significantly. In addition, she also led to the acquisition of the control stake in the world’s No. 1 rough diamond producer, Du Beers, for approximately $5 billion.

The relationship between Anglo American CEO Cynthia Carroll and company’s shareholders has become rough after acquisitions, including the Minas Rio iron ore project, aimed at diversifying the company’s portfolio were affected by cost overruns as well as delays.

Despite recent shortcomings and setbacks, Sir John Parker, chairman of Anglo American Plc, lauded CEO Cynthia Carroll's achievements, stating: "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."

CEO Carroll's successor

The board of directors did highlight that it would not rush to choose an Anglo American CEO Cynthia Carroll's successor as she would stay in her position until the person was nominated. Sir John Parker said that the major global mining company would be looking for the successor worldwide.

Without a doubt, the Anglo American CEO Cynthia Carroll's successor will have to face the challenge of Minas Rio, not to mention that s/he will have to cope with restructuring the platinum industry in South Africa. In South Africa strikes have infected Anglo American Platinum. But strikes did not spare Kumba iron ore unit as well. Des Kilalea, an analyst with RBC in London, believes that Anglo American Plc seems to be the most troublesome mining company to handle.

According to industry analysts,  Alex Vanselow, who was chief financial officer at BHP Billiton, and Mick Davis are among those who are named as the CEO Cynthia Carroll's successor. Whoever takes the position of chief executive officer at Anglo American Plc will have to face many challenges.

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