JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Diversified miner Anglo American announced a widespread range of sudden executive management changes across its South Africa businesses late on Thursday, the biggest of which saw Anglo Platinum (Amplats) CEO Neville Nicolau quit and Kumba Iron Ore CEO Chris Griffith take his place.
Also effective from September 1 are the movements of Anglo Thermal Coal head Norman Mbazima to the position of Kumba CEO and Anglo American executive director Godfrey Gomwe to take over as CEO of the thermal coal business.
Amplats CFO Bongani Nqwababa will fulfil the role of Amplats CEO until Griffith, who worked at Amplats for 18 years before taking up the Kumba post, arrives.
Anglo American CEO Cynthia Carroll made it clear in her interview with Mining Weekly Online following the announcement of the management reshuffle that there would be no change to the deadline of Anglo American’s review of the Amplats business, which would continue until year end, as the market had been told in January.
“There’s a lot more work to be done. We have not come to conclusions on a lot of issues and we will also be looking to engage with various stakeholders along the way,” Carroll said.
She gave the assurance that no special announcements were being reserved for Monday’s presentation of Amplats’ results.
“No special decisions have been taken as far is the review is concerned. We’re still in assessment mode, and I am still looking to the end of the year for all of that to come through,” Carroll added.
It was important that Griffith, as incoming Amplats CEO, owned the review outcome, which made his assumption of company leadership well ahead of its outcome critical.
Griffith would need to be in full stride and appraised of the detail well ahead of the implementation of the review.
She said that Nicolau, who was leaving to pursue his own interests after four years as CEO, had achieved significant safety, productivity and cost performance during his period of tenure.
“Now we’re moving into the next phase of platinum,” she added.
Godfrey, who has been executive director of Anglo American South Africa since 2009, has experience across a number of the local businesses, while Mbazima has previously headed the now-sold Scaw Metals as CEO, after serving as Amplats’ joint acting CEO and CFO.
Khanyisile Kweyama, who takes Gomwe’s place as executive director of Anglo American South Africa, will work with the CEOs of the South African businesses as custodian of group strategy in the region.
Kweyama, formerly of Barloworld, Altech and BMW South Africa, and who has served on Anglo American’s executive committee since 2011, is credited with improving relations with labour unions and bringing wage negotiations to a successful conclusion.
“I believe that this series of leadership changes will enable us to continue our success in driving operational performance across our portfolio of businesses in South Africa in line with our clear strategic objectives," Carroll added.
In platinum, Griffith served as head of operations for joint ventures and as GM of the Amandelbult Section and Bafokeng-Rasimone Platinum Mine in a wide range of operational and management roles.
Mbazima is a former Konkola Copper Mines CFO, Gomwe was formerly CEO of Anglo American’s Zimbabwe operations in Zimbabwe and Kweyama Amplats’ former human resources head.