Anglo American Finance Director Medori Will Retire Next Year

  • Miner will start a formal process to find a replacement
  • Anglo was the worst-performing stock in FTSE 100 last year

Anglo American Plc said Finance Director Rene Medori will retire in 2017 after holding the position for 12 years.

The mining company is starting a formal process to find a successor for Medori, 58, London-based Anglo said in a statement on Wednesday. Both internal and external candidates will be considered, it said.

Medori’s tenure has coincided with a turbulent period for the century-old miner. It has twice been forced to scrap its dividend and late last year announced a plan to engineer a turnaround as the stock headed for a record low. It’s aiming to sell more than half its mines and is exiting the iron ore and coal business to focus on its best assets -- diamonds, platinum and copper.

“He’s been there a long time and the market is really hard,” said Marc Elliott, an analyst at Investec Plc in London. “He’s been at the helm through a tumultuous time in the company’s history. There have been some extreme highs and lows.”

Medori was finance director under current Chief Executive Officer Mark Cutifani’s predecessor Cynthia Carroll, who built up the company during the commodity boom years and left it with too much debt. The most high profile example was the Minas Rio iron ore mine in Brazil that cost about $14 billion to buy and build. After billion of dollars in writedowns, Anglo said in February it may seek to sell the asset after completing a ramp up of the operation.

Rating Cut

Anglo, which had its credit rating cut to junk earlier this year, is seeking to raise $4 billion from mine sales and cut net debt to less than $10 billion.

“With a clear strategy in place and with our asset-disposal program expected to be well advanced by the time I step down, now is the right time for the board to consider my successor," Medori said in the statement.

Anglo has more than doubled this year and is the best performer in the U.K.’s benchmark stock index after being the worst in 2015. The shares gained 5.3 percent by the close of trade in London.

“If the company pulls off the turnaround and the refocus and it works, then that’s likely to be an enticing opportunity to be involved with,” Elliott said.

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