HomeInternationalAnglo appoints new chairman

Anglo appoints new chairman

New Anglo American
chairman John Parker
London, England — MININGREVIEW.COM — 10 July 2009 – Global mining and natural resources giant Anglo American plc has appointed veteran industrialist John Parker as its new chairman, moving to bolster its leadership as it seeks to fend off an unwanted merger proposal by Swiss-based rival Xstrata Plc.

Reuters quotes analysts here as saying Parker was a strong choice given his experience in management and merger activity, noting that although he made no mention of Xstrata, his first comments reiterated many of Anglo’s arguments that it has strong prospects as a stand-alone group.

Analyst Tim Huff at RBS said the appointment was a ‘huge positive strategically’, noting: “For Anglo shareholders, there will be a strong drive towards shareholder value, the delivery of which will in itself determine whether Anglo and Xstrata will go for a nil-premium merger.”

Anglo went on to say that Parker would join the board immediately and would take up the post held by retiring Mark Moody-Stuart on August 1. Parker is chairman of British energy network provider National Grid Plc, and will retain that post, but will step down as co-chairman of the Mondi paper and packaging group.

“Anglo American has many great strengths, including a portfolio of high quality mining assets, an impressive growth profile, substantial and well advanced efficiency programmes and a unique position in precious commodities,” Parker said in a statement.

He offered support for chief executive Cynthia Carroll, who has been criticised in some media reports as not being as effective as her Xstrata counterpart Mick Davis.

“This global company has an opportunity to deliver considerable further growth and value in the coming years,” Parker said. “I look forward to working with the board and the excellent management team led by Cynthia Carroll to deliver those prospects to shareholders.”

The South African government had said it wanted Anglo to appoint a black South African as chairman, and yesterday a government source said its list of possible candidates included business magnate and former union leader Cyril Ramaphosa. Ramaphosa is co-chairman with Parker at Mondi.

Officials from the South African government were not immediately available to comment on the appointment.