Ivan Glasenberg, the South African-born chief executive of the world’s biggest commodity trader, Glencore, retired on Tuesday after 19 years at the helm. Photo: Simphiwe Mbokazi
Ivan Glasenberg, the South African-born chief executive of the world’s biggest commodity trader, Glencore, retired on Tuesday after 19 years at the helm. Photo: Simphiwe Mbokazi

Glasenberg retires after 19 years at helm of Glencore

By Dineo Faku Time of article published Jul 1, 2021

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IVAN Glasenberg, the South African-born chief executive of the world’s biggest commodity trader, Glencore, retired on Tuesday after 19 years at the helm.

Glasenberg, who is a former coal trader, is a chartered accountant with a Bachelor of Accountancy from the University of Witwatersrand.

He joined Glencore in 1984. In January 1990 he was made responsible for the group’s worldwide coal business for both marketing and industrial assets and remained in this role until he was appointed chief executive in January 2002.

Glasenberg’s swansong was Glencore’s buyout of rivals Anglo American plc and BHP in the giant Colombian coal mine this week.

Glencore announced on Monday that it would pay $588 million (R8.4 billion) for the acquisition of the Anglo American and BHP stakes in Cerrejón coal mine in Colombia.

“Glencore has been involved with Cerrejón for more than 20 years. We know the asset well and believe that we are the most responsible steward for Cerrejón at this stage of its lifecycle,” Glasenberg said. Glencore said cash generated before the deal closed meant it would pay an effective cash amount of around $230m.

Under Glasenberg’s watch Glencore surrendered its Optimum Colliery to Gupta-linked Tegeta Resources and Exploration following political interference and corporate bullying.

Tegeta bought Optimum for R2.15bn after Glencore placed it under business administration in 2016.

Glasenberg is succeeded by Gary Nagle.

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