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Who is SA’s top-paid gold CEO?

060809 Goldfields CEO Nick Holland and Paul Schmidt at the company's annual results held at Summer place .photo by Simphiwe Mbokazi

060809 Goldfields CEO Nick Holland and Paul Schmidt at the company's annual results held at Summer place .photo by Simphiwe Mbokazi

Published Apr 1, 2016

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Johannesburg - Nick Holland was the top-paid chief executive officer of South Africa’s four biggest gold producers even as Gold Fields fell in 2015 and had a lower market value than rival AngloGold Ashanti.

Holland, 57, who became a lightning rod for investor anger over executive pay three years ago, received $2.83 million in 2015, 8.8 percent more than a year earlier, Gold Fields said in its annual report published yesterday. Returns from the producer’s shares including dividends plunged 19 percent in the period.

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AngloGold, the biggest South African gold producer by market value, paid CEO Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan $1.9 million last year, 28 percent more than in 2015, after forgoing bonuses in previous years. The company’s shares returned 4.5 percent last year.

AngloGold’s market value is R83 billion ($5.6 billion) compared with Gold Fields’ R48 billion.

Holland sparked an investor backlash after receiving R45.3 million in 2012. Old Mutual fund manager Michael Schroder accused gold executives including Holland of “personal greed” amid poor performance. The Gold Fields CEO’s pay dropped by 45 percent the following year and he declined a cash bonus in response to governance failings relating to the company’s South Deep mine.

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Sibanye Gold CEO Neal Froneman received R19.9 million in 2015, a 55 percent increase on the previous year, according to its annual report. The company’s shares returned 4.4 percent in the period.

Graham Briggs, the former CEO of Harmony Gold Mining Company, was the lowest-paid leader of the four largest producers, taking home R10 million, a slight decrease from a year earlier. He left the role at the end of the year. Returns from Harmony’s shares declined 28 percent in 2015.

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