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The surprise resignation of the well-regarded Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan as CEO of AngloGold Ashanti to join Vedanta Resources is a case in point where an individual is conflated with the company’s strategy, a perception chairman Sipho Pityana was at pains to point out was not the case as the gold company begins the hunt for a new head. With strategy set by the board in close conjunction with the CEO, AngloGold’s game plan will not change, Pityana said after the market digested the morning news that Venkatakrishnan, who has been with the company for 18 years — five of those as CEO — was leaving. A down-to-earth and accessible CEO, Venkatakrishnan, who was the financial director of the world’s third-largest gold miner, had clearly articulated the company’s strategy and unusually, as analysts pointed out, delivered on those commitments, bringing down costs, removing unprofitable mines and investing in fresh growth. Unfortunately, that strategy cut AngloGold’s historical footprint in S...

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