Anglo reshuffles top management team, waves iron ore boss good-bye

By Cecilia Jamasmie / November 12, 2015 / / Article Link

Anglo American's chief executive Mark Cutifani (Image from archives)

Anglo American (LON:AAL) announced Thursday major changes at the senior management level, including the departure of its Brazil-based iron ore chief and a renewed focus on sales and marketing, as the stock continues to hit new lows.

Paulo Castellari, who was in charge of bringing the company's long-delayed and costly $8.8 billion Minas Rios iron ore project into production last year, is stepping down to "pursue other opportunities", Anglo said. He leaves at the end of the year.

The miner has appointed Peter Whitcutt as its first dedicated chief of the marketing business. Whitcutt, until now the group director of strategy, business development and marketing since 2013, will focus on delivering "the full potential of the marketing business", which Anglo said has delivered considerable commercial benefits to date.

Investors reacted negatively to the news, with the stock hitting a fresh low of 448.20 pence at 3:45 pm GMT.

The changes come at a time when Anglo's chief Mark Cutifani is trying to turn around the company's fortunes following years during which it underperformed its peers, such as BHP Billiton (LON:BLT) and Rio Tinto (LON:RIO).

The new decline consolidates Anglo American, the world's No. 5 miner by market value, as the worst performer of the world's top five mining companies in the past years, beating even Glencore (LON:GLEN), whose shares dropped below a pound Thursday for the first time in just over a month.

Drastic times, drastic measures

Anglo, which employs over 150,000 staff globally, is undergoing a major restructuring aimed to improve its balance sheet. This strategy has included putting assets up for sale, from copper mines in Chile to Australian coal assets and its platinum business in South Africa.

In July, Cutifani said in a presentation to investors that the company was considering further asset sales as a way of deepening cost cuts. Additionally, the miner warned it would slash about 53,000 jobs in the coming years, including positions in operations it plans to sell.

The job cuts, which include the expected loss of 6,000 jobs at overhead operations, should result in $500 million in cost savings, Cutifani said

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