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The CEO of diversified miner and commodity trader Glencore says he did not know anything about corruption at the company and denied that the issue was widespread.
“I was not involved and had no idea about any of the misconduct and incidents that have been uncovered as a result of this investigation,” Gary Nagle, who became CEO in 2021 and has worked at Glencore since 2000, told journalists.
Glencore in May admitted to paying bribes in numerous countries in Africa and Latin America from 2007-2018, and agreed to pay more than $1bn to regulators in the US, UK and Brazil.
One of the US prosecutors leading the case said at the time that “bribery was built in to the corporate culture” at Glencore, but Nagle on Thursday appeared to push back against that characterisation.
“These were specific incidents in specific markets in specific areas of the business,” he said. “This was not widespread across the entire business. It was specific areas where misconduct took place.”
The US also detailed Glencore’s use of “cash desks” in London and the company’s headquarters in Baar, Switzerland, which dispensed money to pay bribes.
Nagle was based in Baar until 2007, when he moved on to roles in Colombia and Australia, but said on Thursday that he had not known about the desks’ existence.
“In my time between 2000 and 2007 I was not aware of a cash desk in Baar, I was a junior within the coal department and had no awareness of a cash desk in Baar,” he said. The cash desks have now been closed, he said.
Glencore said in its first-half earnings report that it had been contacted by “certain government authorities” in the countries where it admitted to having paid bribes. The company will be open with government investigators in those countries, Nagle said.
“We are committed to transparent and open relationships and sharing information with them,” he said.
He refused to say whether Glencore was planning legal action against its former executives and employees who were involved in the corruption.
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