11/5/2009.Outgoing Reserve Bank Governer Tito Mboweni in his office,talks about his future plans. Picture : Masi Losi

Johannesburg - AngloGold Ashanti, the world’s third-largest producer of the metal, said former South African Reserve Bank Governor Tito Mboweni stood down as the company’s chairman and was replaced by Sipho Pityana.

Mboweni, who joined AngloGold as chairman in June 2010, stood down “as a result of his increasing portfolio of professional commitments,” the Johannesburg-based company said today in a statement.

Pityana, who has been an AngloGold non-executive director for seven years, will work with Mboweni to ensure a smooth handover, the company said.

Pityana was South Africa’s first director general of the Department of Labour following democratic elections in 1994 and is chairman of investment company Izingwe Capital (Pty) Ltd.

Mboweni, 54, is a member of the ruling African National Congress’s National Executive Committee.

The country, which has Africa’s biggest economy, will hold elections on May 7.

Mboweni “may well be making maneuvers ahead of the election,” Peter Attard Montalto, an economist at Nomura Plc in London, said in an e-mail.

“His potential deployment will be watched with interest.” - Bloomberg News