London | Glencore named its coal business leader Gary Nagle as chief executive officer the next year when billionaire Ivan Glasenberg retires after nearly two decades as the world’s largest commodities trader.
« It’s time to hand over a new generation and a new leader, » Glasenberg said during an investor call on Friday. « We have decided that for the next six months I will work closely with Gary Nagle, who will take over from me. «
Nagle will be traveling with Glasenberg for the next six months to get to know the company’s most important partners. AP
Nagle, like Glasenberg, is South African and has a degree in Commerce and Accounting from the University of the Witwatersrand. Like Glasenberg, he built his career by rising through the ranks of Glencore’s coal operations. He now has to cope with growing investor discomfort with this coal business, navigate corruption probes, and weather a sharp drop in share price compared to his peers.
Nagle was noticed by his absence on the biggest day of his career so far, when Glasenberg was the focus. Nagle didn’t talk about calls to investors or the media. Glencore stocks rose 3. 1 percent in London and close at the highest price since February.
Nagle found out in Australia in recent weeks that he was the anointed successor to take over a company that had sales of $ 215 billion for the past calendar year. USD (289 billion. USD). Calls and contacts with Glasenberg increased during this time.
« I’ve been talking to Gary the whole time, » said Glasenberg. « Over time, I’ve talked to him more. I’m sure he realized he was a potential leader. And for the past few weeks I’ve been talking to him about the new role. «
Nagle will be traveling with Glasenberg for the next six months to meet the company’s key partners – from the heads of the banks that finance its huge commercial operations to government contacts in the countries where the largest mines are located.
The future of the company’s sprawling coal business is likely to be Nagle’s greatest challenge. While the company unveiled a plan on Friday to become emissions neutral by 2050, many investors are increasingly uncomfortable owning mines that produce the most polluting fuel.
Glasenberg said that while the company plans to mine these mines over the next 30 years, Nagle should do so in case shareholders request that Glencore sell or spin off its coal business.
Glasenberg declined to comment on the numerous legal investigations the company is facing, including those by the US Department of Justice over possible money laundering and corruption.
Known by some as « Mini-Ivan », Nagle joined Glencore in 2000 as an asset manager in the coal division and became Managing Director of the Colombian coal accelerator Prodeco Group in December 2007. Following the acquisition of Xstrata, the 45-year-old was transferred to head of the company’s South Africa-focused alloy assets and subsequently named head of coal assets.
Glasenberg announced his plan to retire over the next few years in late 2018 and fired the starting gun at a closely watched race that included Nagle, Kenny Ives and Nico Paraskevas. Glasenberg said he hopes the other candidates stay with the company.
« I hope we can keep talent, » he said. « In many companies, when the CEO is appointed, other people leave. I hope this isn’t the case here, but time will tell. «
Glasenberg’s departure follows that of his chief lieutenants, who became billionaires themselves in the past two years when the company was listed. The exodus included the head of the copper trade, Telis Mistakidis, the head of the oil trade, Alex Beard, and Daniel Mate who ran the zinc business.
Although Glasenberg gives up the top job, he has a 9. 1 percent stake in Glencore, which makes him the second largest shareholder.
« He will maintain the culture and style of this company, » said Glasenberg. « I am glad to have him as administrator of my stake in the company that I will keep going into the future. «
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