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Ian Cockerill out at Anglo

Russell King and Philip Baum also leave as mining giant ‘streamlines’ business.

Anglo American plc today announces a number of changes across its businesses to create a more streamlined management structure and further focus the Group on its core mining portfolio.

Seven commodity business units (“BUs”) are being created, with management teams located in the area of core geographic focus for the BU and responsible for operational performance and project delivery.  These are:

–    Platinum (South Africa): CEO Neville Nicolau                              

–    Copper (Chile): CEO John MacKenzie                                        

–    Nickel (Brazil): CEO Walter De Simoni                                      

–    Metallurgical Coal (Australia): CEO Seamus French                         

–    Thermal Coal (South Africa): CEO Norman Mbazima                           

–    Kumba Iron Ore (South Africa): CEO Chris Griffith                         

–    Iron Ore Brazil (Brazil): CEO Stephan Weber                               

Five Group Directors, based in London, will be responsible for corporate functions, as well as providing strategic support to the BUs and ensuring the ongoing realisation of group-wide synergies.  They are:

–   Rene Medori, Group Finance Director (who continues as a member of the     


–   Brian Beamish, Group Director Mining & Technology                          

–   David Weston, Group Director Business Performance & Projects              

–   Mervyn Walker, Group Director HR & Communications                         

–   Peter Whitcutt, Group Director Strategy & Business Development             

Anglo American`s decision to divest certain non-core assets builds on the initiatives completed over the last three years, including the demerger of the Mondi Group and the sale of the Group`s shareholdings in AngloGold Ashanti, Highveld Steel and Vanadium, Namakwa Sands and, most recently, Tongaat Hulett and Hulamin.                                                                   

Anglo American has determined that the following assets will be divested: Scaw Metals, Copebras, Catalao and the Group`s portfolio of zinc assets.  Together with Tarmac, which has previously been identified as non-core, these assets accounted for approximately 11% of 2008 Group EBITDA.

Duncan Wanblad, as Group Director Non-core assets, will manage this portfolio as a standalone unit.  The divestment of these assets will be undertaken in a manner and on a timetable that will maximise value for Anglo American’s shareholders. Preparatory work for the separation of these businesses from the Group`s core operations has commenced. Anglo American will provide further updates on the divestments as appropriate.                                     

The business unit CEOs and Group Directors will report to Cynthia Carroll, Chief Executive, and together with her will form the Group`s Executive Committee.    

As a result of the reorganisation, a layer of global management is being removed.  This will create a more effective, simple and efficient organisation, with greater clarity over decision making and greater speed of implementation.  

The delayering and other efficiency measures are expected to result in a reduction of overhead staff of approximately 25% with associated cost savings anticipated at US$120 million per annum.

Cynthia Carroll, Chief Executive, said:                                         

“I believe that these actions will position Anglo American well for sustained, profitable growth in the commodities we have identified as being the most attractive.  The portfolio changes we have announced are the logical next step in focusing the Group on our core mining activities, enabling us to strengthen our balance sheet further.

“The delayering creates the opportunity for a new generation of executive management to come through and I look forward to working with them.

“I would like to thank Philip Baum, Ian Cockerill and Russell King for the key leadership roles they have played at Anglo. I have greatly appreciated their valuable contributions to the success of the Group and I wish them well for the future.”                                                                        

Sir John Parker, Chairman, said:

“Today`s announcement represents an important step in creating a more streamlined business, with enhanced focus on operational effectiveness and project delivery.  We have a truly world class portfolio of assets and these initiatives further improve our ability to deliver its full potential.”

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Comments on this article are closed.

So Cynthia chops off the heads of the three executive directors with the most knowledge of SA and the most developed relationships with local opinion formers. Given that Cockerill and King were the most likely challengers to her role as CEO, it seems that this has less to do with cost saving and more to do with corporate politics and protecting her own position. This move cuts out a major dollop of institutional muscle at plc Board level and leaves the SA business even more directionless than before. Does anyone really believe that Neville Nicolau and Norman Mbazima will be able to articulate credibly on the ground the case for a stand-alone Anglo, versus a merger with Xstrata? Xstrata must be ecstatic…………………..

Billiton to outperform anglo

No dividend

Debt through the roof at way to high cost

Snakes and ladders with competent executives

She should go make tea for Mick Davis if she is lucky-Mr Kloppers would not even give her that job!

Please go back to America and never come back Mrs Caroll!

This woman is mad. Cockerill is a seriously good player. King Baum were probably the last decent guys left around. Gone are the days of hard core miners running the shop. A bunch of limp wristed pen pushers catering to the short term cycles of the market have taken residence

Other than getting Anglo to pay for his relocation to the UK, Cockerill’s contribution was minimal. He and King won’t be missed. Baum on the other hand is well respected in SA and will be a loss. Cyclone Cynthia continues to wreak havoc on Anglo. When will the board wake up to the fact that she is more of a problem than the people she keeps getting rid of.

Recently Departed:Cockerill had very little chance to contribute to Anglo, given that he only had 16 months in office. Through no fault of their own, he, King and Baum have been shafted by a CEO threatened by their potential to do her job better than she can.

And I think you’ll find that Cockerill is very well respected in South Africa, particularly following his role in successfully seeing off Harmony’s hostile bid for Gold Fields. King is also well respected across the board, as is Baum.

The one thing I will agree with you on is that Ms Carroll is the one causing the most damage. Shareholders need to wake up and get rid of her before she runs a venerable institution into the ground.

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