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Perhaps the bravest move in the recent history of Anglo American's near 100-year existence was to suspend dividends in 2009 and continue its capital expenditure programmes. It was the first time since World War 2 that the mining house founded by Ernest Oppenheimer had not met even the lowest expectations of its investors. The person courageous enough to make the call was Cynthia Carroll, which was fitting, seeing as her 2007 appointment had broken with all manner of traditions at Anglo. She was the first woman CEO and an American, not steeped in its culture. She didn't fit the mould, wasn't part of the "old boys' establishment" that had steered the company from its headquarters at 44 Main Street in central Johannesburg and later its London headquarters. Carroll had been brought in to diversify and globalise Anglo. T he company had moved to London at the turn of the century and was eager to shed its conglomerate tag and define itself as just a mining house, albeit a diversified one."...

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