Glencore boss steps down with pledge to go net-zero
Billionaire Ivan Glasenberg to be succeeded by head of coal
Ivan Glasenberg is to step down after almost two decades at the helm of Glencore, completing the changing of the guard at the world’s biggest commodity trading groups.
Mr Glasenberg, who joined Glencore in 1984 and has been chief executive since January 2002, said on Friday he would retire next year and hand the reins to Gary Nagle, a fast-talking South African, who runs the company’s coal business.
Mr Glasenberg, who turns 64 in January, signalled the succession a year ago, telling investors he did not want to be an “old guy” running the company. He owns just over 9 per cent of Glencore, a stake worth about £3bn at current prices.
Glencore grew out of Marc Rich & Co, whose eponymous founder was regarded as the godfather of modern commodity trading. But it was under Mr Glasenberg that it became a natural resources behemoth.
Of the internal candidates who were in the running to succeed Mr Glasenberg, Mr Nagle is the one most like Mr Glasenberg and the executive with the most experience of running assets, a much bigger part of Glencore’s business since its merger with Xstrata.
The other frontrunners were head of nickel trading Kenny Ives and Nico Paraskevas, his opposite number in copper.
News of Mr Nagle’s appointment came as Glencore, the world’s biggest exporter of thermal coal, stole a march on rivals by setting out new emissions targets that will make it the first big miner to be fully aligned with the goals of the Paris agreement on climate change.
Tyler Broda, analyst at RBC Capital Markets, said Mr Glasenberg’s retirement was not a “positive” but “fresh leadership should allow for a more bold approach from management to tackle some of the challenges that have crept into the investment case in recent years”.
These include the future of its coal business and investigations by regulators into alleged corruption and bribery. Mr Glasenberg’s departure could pave the way for a settlement with the US authorities.
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