AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. Chief Executive Officer Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan, appointed yesterday, is tasked with boosting value for investors in the world’s third-biggest producer of the metal, Chairman Tito Mboweni said.
“The key challenge is for him to work together with his colleagues in the executive committee to achieve an uplift in the value for shareholders,” Mboweni said in an interview with Bloomberg Television in Cape Town today. “I’m quite certain that he’s up to it otherwise we wouldn’t have appointed him.”
The stock has slumped 35 percent this year in Johannesburg after tumbling 24 percent in 2012. The appointment of Venkatakrishnan, AngloGold’s 48-year-old chief financial officer, as CEO comes before industry wage talks expected to start next month. A spate of strikes last year disrupted production of platinum, gold and iron ore at the country’s mines and prompted violence that left more than 46 dead.
“The atmosphere is quite a difficult one,” Mboweni said in the interview with Bloomberg’s Ryan Chilcote. “We’re quite convinced that the lessons learnt from last year will stand us in good stead as we prepare for the next round of wage negotiations. I’m quite sure that our executives will be able to handle the situation very well.”