Anglo’s choice of new CEO criticised

Anglo American is drawing more criticism in its appointment of Mark Cutifani as a new CEO with views that the resources giant should have installed a South African and an affirmative action candidate.

Anglo announced the appointment of the Australian born, Cutifani, this week to succeed Cynthia Carroll, an American, who departs in April this year. The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) was the first to draw blood saying Anglo missed the opportunity to align its leadership with its geographical exposure and to also embrace affirmative action. While Anglo has moved its primary listing from the JSE to London, it still generates a significant majority of its earnings in South Africa.

The Black Management Forum has joined the chorus of criticism. In a statement released yesterday, the BMF said it was “extremely disappointed about the appointment of an Australian”.

“Anglo American has a strong South African heritage that dates back to the era of the gold rush more than a century ago. The country has been longest in mining with great expertise and yet Anglo American’s board has not appointed a local candidate,” said the BMF.

“With over 18 years in our democracy they have failed to identify and develop a black executive as part of their succession plan. There are many capable South Africans that have a wealth of global, leadership and listed company experience across a range of industries.  This appointment is a clear indication of Anglo American’s lip service to transformation”, said BMF MD Nicholas Maweni.

“The BMF will continue to be vocal on issues of transformation in pursuit of socio-economic justice, fairness and equity and keep corporates in check”.

Cutifani has been in South Africa for about five years after taking up a position of CEO at AngloGold Ashanti in 2007.

Commenting on Cutifani’s appointment, Anglo American’s Chairman, John Parker, said “Mark 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. Mark is a highly respected leader in the global mining industry, with values strongly aligned to those of Anglo American. We look forward to welcoming him as our Chief Executive.”

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