BUSINESS MAVERICK Newsflash

AngloGold CEO unexpectedly steps down for personal reasons at key juncture in company’s history

By Ed Stoddard 30 July 2020

AngloGold Ashanti CEO Kelvin Dushnisky. (Photo: Guillermo Gutierrez / Bloomberg via Getty Images)

AngloGold Ashanti CEO Kelvin Dushnisky will step down for personal reasons 1 September, the company said on Thursday, 30 July. His departure comes as the company sheds its last operational assets in South Africa and at a time when the precious metal's price is near record highs - which should bring a smile to the face of any CEO in the sector. 

AngloGold Ashanti CEO Kelvin Dushnisky will step down on 1 September, the company said on Thursday 30 July. His departure comes as the company sheds its last operational assets in South Africa and at a time when the precious metal’s price is near record highs – which should bring a smile to the face of any CEO in the sector.

Interim CEO Christine Ramon. (Photo: Gallo Images / Financial Mail / Robert Tshabalala)

Christine Ramon, currently the group’s highly regarded chief financial officer (CFO) who was previously Sasol’s CFO, has been appointed interim CEO, the company said in a statement. It said Dushnisky, a Canadian national, will remain in Toronto with his family, “but will be available to assist the group with a smooth handover until 28 February 2021”. That suggests he does not have another big job on his immediate horizon.

“Kelvin leaves AngloGold Ashanti in solid shape, with robust cash flows aiding ongoing debt reduction,” AngloGold said.

The company said he had resigned for personal reasons.

“Kelvin’s resignation was a personal decision, mainly to be closer to his family in Toronto during a time when international travel is more difficult. In the context of the new COVID19 operating environment and the constraints on international travel – the on-going demands of delivering of the company’s strategy will require him to be away from home for longer than he had committed to his family,” AngloGold said.

Dushnisky only took over in September 2018 and comes at an unusual time for such a departure. The company is in decent financial nick and the price for the commodity it produces, gold, is going through the roof. The company is also at a critical juncture in its history. 

AngloGold is in the midst of bringing its historic Obuasi mine, which at one point had been invaded by thousands of illegal miners, back to life. It is also in the process of shedding its last South African assets. Its Mponeng mine west of Johannesburg, the world’s deepest with gold extracted 4km below the planet’s surface, is on the verge of being transferred into the hands of Harmony Gold. This has triggered speculation the company may seek to move its primary listing offshore from Johannesburg. BM/DM

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