Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan’s departure for Vedanta Resources will leave a hole not only at AngloGold Ashanti, but in the broader business environment in SA. The unassuming CEO of the world’s third-largest gold miner oversaw some of the toughest business decisions an executive had to make with the company’s assets, restructuring the business by selling large mines in SA and the US, reining in and reducing debt and removing a potentially business-destroying hedge book of 12m oz. More pertinent and probably more sentimental than any other decision was the reduction of the company’s historical base as a leading producer of SA gold to just a single deep-level mine and a tailings retreatment operation, with the country now making up just 10% of annual group output of more than 3m oz. While he was active at AngloGold as a CEO who would not shy away from tough decisions, he was also an important player behind the scenes, unlike his predecessor Mark Cutifani, who took bold, public positions ...

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