So where does Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan’s departure leave AngloGold Ashanti? The short answer is: vulnerable. His achievements at AngloGold have been immense, particularly since they consist mainly of that most unappreciated skill — turning a company around. In his time as CEO since 2013, he cleaned up AngloGold’s hedge book, sold off its loss-making SA assets and greatly reduced debt from US$3.11bn to $2bn by the 2017 full year. All-in costs have come down 30%, overhead costs are down two-thirds, and productivity is up 26%. Last year alone, AngloGold put TauTona and Savuka on care and maintenance and sold Kopanang to Chinese firm Heaven-Sent. It also sold Moab Khotsong and Great Noligwa to Harmony Gold, which leaves it with only Mponeng in the West Wits region, as well as its tailings treatment and surface rock dump reclamation operations. SA operations are now only about 10% of its global production. The company hits its production guidance like clockwork. Perhaps more importantl...

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