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Cynthia Carroll Resigns From Anglo American

Leaves Recent Appointment as De Beers Chairman

Oct 26, 2012 4:25 AM   By Dilipp S Nag
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RAPAPORT... Cynthia Carroll has resigned as chief executive of Anglo American and will consequently ‎relinquish her role as De Beers chairman.‎ The resignation comes less than one month after Carroll was appointed chairman of De Beers after she oversaw Anglo American's acquisition of the Oppenheimer ‎family’s 45 percent stake in the diamond mining company. The acquisition closed earlier this year raising Anglo American’s ‎stake in De Beers to 85 percent.

Anglo American stated Friday that Carroll will stay in her leadership role until a successor has been ‎found and settled into the position. The process of recruiting Carroll’s successor will now ‎commence and will be led by John Parker, the chairman of Anglo American, who will also support ‎the transition period. ‎

‎“It has been a great honor to lead Anglo American. 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," said Carroll. "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.”‎

Carroll was appointed to the Anglo American board in January 2007 and formally took over as ‎chief executive in March that same year.

‎“Cynthia’s leadership has had a transformational impact on Anglo American,” Parker said.‎ ‎“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.”‎ 

Kate Craig, an analyst at Liberum Capital, immediately weighed into Carroll's term, describing ''one terrible acquisition,'' Minas Rio; a forced sale of 50 percent of a prized Chilean copper asset, the buy out of De Beers' minorities at a full price and inaction on Anglo Platinum - an asset most had hoped would be unbundled during Carroll's tenure.

“Cynthia also saw off bear hug approach from Xstrata - something we thought had merit. To sum up then, the history books won't be kind on her tenure,” she stated. “The sale, unbundling of Amplats is all but impossible now and they are in too deep on Minas Rio to turn back now.”

Craig surmised that there is a significant likelihood of a large write down and that Anglo is setting up for a capital expenditure blow-out and a later start up period. “With this out of the way, the decks will be clear for any incoming chief executive,” she wrote. Craig said that the only rumored name in the market is Alex Vanselow, the former BHP Billiton chief financial officer.

In a video interview posted on Anglo American’s website, Parker was asked if Carroll's decision was in reaction to shareholder pressure, following a disappointing performance. He replied, “Of course, we always listen to our shareholders very carefully. However, today’s decision is very much based on Cynthia’s decision, which the board has accepted, that she feels the right time has come to step down from what is a very challenging role.”

Parker stated that the search for Carroll's replacement will involve both external and internal candidates and he will also support ‎the transition when the new executive has been appointed.‎


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Tags: Anglo, Anglo American, Cynthia Carroll, De Beers, diamonds, Dilipp S Nag
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