Reuters Business Report - Thousands of miners at Rustenburg went on strike over pay and conditions, costing the company million of dollars in lost production.
Now after more than five years in the job and increasing pressure from investors, Anglo American's CEO Cynthia Carroll is stepping down.
Cynthia Carroll, CEO, Anglo American, said:
"This is not an easy decision for me. I think it's the right time to hand the baton on to someone else who can continue to capitalise and develop off the foundation that we have been building."
Carroll is an American geologist and became the first non-South African and the first woman to head the company.
Her efforts to streamline what was a sprawling conglomerate, by cutting billions in costs initially won support from investors.
Despite that, the company has lost a third of its value since she took up the helm.
Anglo American's Chairman, John Parker said the decision to leave was Carroll's alone.
John Parker, Chariman, Anglo American, said:
"Well of course we always listen to our shareholders very carefully but 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 in what is a very challenging role."
Carroll's decision to step down means only of two of the UK's top 100 companies are headed by women.
She'll stay in the job until a successor is found, which is expected to be sometime next year.