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Power Player: New Anglo American boss

posted 8 Jan 2013, 09:20 by Mpelembe   [ updated 8 Jan 2013, 09:20 ]

Reuters Business  Report -   He's taking on what's known as one of the toughest jobs in mining.

Australian Mark Cutifani will be the next CEO of Anglo American.

The one-time trainee miner will take over in April, after leaving his current role as boss of South Africa's AngloGold.

Cutifani was considered an outsider after Cynthia Carroll quit Anglo in October.

Anglo shares were up over 2 percent in London and Johannesburg on the news.

But not everyone's happy - says South Africa's National Union of Mineworkers.

 Lisiba Seshoka, Spokesperson for National Union of Mineworkers, 

"We need to see a real change in the mining industry, it has not happened yet, it has not started because you hardly find the black chief executive officer mining industry, but apart from that the transformation happens in the bottom level we don't see it going all the ranks including the board level, and that is a disappointment."

Anglo American's platinum arm Amplats has been hit by the wave of strikes which swept through South African mining last year.

Cutifani, who is a father of seven, will be only the second non-South African to run Anglo.

But Kevin Allison from Reuters Breaking Views says his experience in the country stands out.

Kevin Allison, Reuters Breaking Views, 

"He's basically not South African, but he'll do. He's got the relatiohships with politicians and with the labour unions in South Africa that he needs, to do probably the best job anyone could marshalling Anglo American through a very sensitive period in South Africa."

South Africa won't be the only item in Cutifani's inbox come the third of April.

He faces challenges in copper and iron ore, especially in Brazil.

Anglo American's shares have lagged their peers by around 20 percent since the start of 2012, and investors will expect him to tackle underperforming parts of the company.