Cynthia Carroll has stepped down from her position as Chief Executive at Anglo American plc, following seven years at the helm of the company.

Carroll announced the decision on Friday; the Board has accepted her resignation, the company added.

The diversified mining company will begin the search for an appropriate replacement to lead the company in a new phase of growth, however until a suitable candidate is found, Carroll has agreed to continue to act as Chief Executive.

Explaining her unexpected departure, Carroll said: “It has been a great honour 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.  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.”

While accepting Carroll’s decision to move on, the company expressed regret at her resignation and spoke highly of her contribution to growing the business over the seven years of her leadership, since joining Anglo American in 2007.

Anglo American’s Chairman, Sir John Parker paid tribute, saying: “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 organisation with a focus on operational performance.  Her legacy will include, among many other things, a step change improvement in safety, sustainability and the quality of our dialogue with governments, communities and other stakeholders.  Her values represent the very best of Anglo American.”

Carroll has had a successful career at Anglo American, achieving record profits in 2008 and 2011, and steering the company through the financial difficulties experienced globally during the intervening years.

This year she has had to contend with the South African spate of miner’s strikes, which has caused significant financial detriment to the company, with operations also suffering severe infrastructure damage.

Most recently, Anglo American’s unit Amplats was forced to 12,000 striking miners as it calculated a growing loss of over 700 million rand ($79.5 million) caused by production stoppages.

Anglo American Kumba Iron Ore’s labour force also downed tools in early October, causing a halt to production at its Sishen mine -Africa’s largest iron ore plant.  At Sishen, workers staged a near two-week sit in at the mining operation causing substantial property damage through extensive vandalism.


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