Anglo American appoints Duncan Wanblad as Chief Executive to succeed Mark Cutifani

November 3, 2021

Anglo American announced Duncan Wanblad will succeed Mark Cutifani as the company’s chief executive, effective April 19, 2022.

Cutifani steps down from the leadership position after a nine-year run at the helm of the century-old old mining company. Cutifani, an Australian-native who worked is way up to the top spot of the company is credited with turning Anglo American around. He took over a company that was struggling in 2013 as commodity prices hit historic lows. Anglo American struggled with its Minas-Rio Mine in Brazil resulting in $11.3 billion of write-downs. The Wall Street Journal reported that Cutifani promised to cut spending and sell assets which, along with recovering commodity prices, helped lead to an operational improvement for the company. He lead Anglo American through an exit from thermal coal while establishing a promising copper business and buying a potash miner.

“There has been no greater privilege for me than leading Anglo American and our incredible people. Together, we have transformed our competitive position and led the way toward a very different future for mining – a safer, smarter future that delivers enduring value for all our stakeholders,” said Cutifani. “By delivering our promises, we have established the credibility and capabilities that are the foundation for Anglo American’s next phase of growth. I can think of no better leader than Duncan to pick up the baton and pursue the many opportunities that lie ahead for our business.”

Wanblad, 54 years old, has spent his entire career at Anglo American and has been key in many of the company’s recent moves, including its exit from thermal coal and its incursion into the fertilizers market with the acquisition of Sirius Minerals.

Wanblad’s nomination marks the first time a South African has run the company since Tony Trahar stepped down in 2007. It’s also the last of a series of expected leadership changes at the world’s biggest miners.

Wanblad began his career at Anglo American in 2008, when he was appointed to head the copper division. In that role, Wanblad drove the development of the Quellaveco copper mine in Peru, which is slated to begin production next year.

Wanblad will receive annual basic pay of £1.25 million plus a bonus of up to 210 percent of his 2022 salary, provided certain performance targets are met. Half of any award will be deferred into shares, Anglo said. In addition, he will be eligible for shares worth up to 300 percent of his basic salary, vesting after three years, under a long-term incentive plan.

“I am honored that the board has given me the opportunity to lead this great company and our wonderful colleagues around the world. Having started my career underground as a junior engineer, I have never lost sight of what it takes to produce the metals and minerals that are ever more vital to support our life on this planet,” said Wanblad. “Our responsibility to do so safely and sustainably, including meeting our employees’ and stakeholders’ expectations of us, has never been greater. Through the way we work, the technologies we are deploying to drive us towards our sustainability goals, and the breadth of opportunities I can see, we are determined to live up to that promise.”


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