After 18 years Ivan Glasenberg to retire from Glencore in 2021

Ivan Glasenberg, the CEO of Glencore International.
Ivan Glasenberg, the CEO of Glencore International.
Sergei Bobylev\TASS via Getty Images
  • Outgoing Glencore CEO Ivan Glasenberg joined the company 36 years ago.
  • Glasenberg will be succeeded Gary Nagle who is the current head of the miner’s coal division.
  • Glencore's shareprice had risen by almost 4% at market close on Friday, following the news of Glasenberg's retirement.


Glencore CEO Ivan Glasenberg will retire from one of the world's biggest coal producers in the first half of 2021, after a 36 year stint at the mining company.

On Friday, Glencore announced that the South African Glasenberg will be succeeded Gary Nagle who is the current head of the miner’s coal division. Nagle will move from Australia next year to Switzerland to join Glasenberg, as part of his transition into the role.

Glencore chairperson, Tony Hayward lauded Glasenberg, who has been CEO since 2002 for his efforts in growing the mining company.

“What he has achieved is unique, his vision created two of the world’s largest mining companies – Glencore and Xstrata,” said Hayward in a statement.   

With regards to Nagle’s appointment, Hayward said the board had been working with Glasenberg over the past two years, on the company’s succession plan. 

“The fact that each department has promoted from within the group is a credit to the work done to ensure there is strength in depth,” added Hayward.

He explained that Nagle had been on the board’s “radar” for a number of years. 

“We are confident he has the right skillset and qualities to lead the Glencore of tomorrow,” Hayward said.

Glencore's shareprice had risen by almost 4% at market close on Friday, following the news of Glasenberg's retirement. But he is not making his exit with an unblemished record, the company had 16 fatalities last year, mostly in its copper operations in Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The group has also been subject to a number of investigations, in the US, UK, Brazil and Switzerland on allegations of bribery, money laundering. It has also been named in class action lawsuit in the US, which is one of a few.  

READ | Zambia sees deal with Glencore over Mopani within a month

Wayne McCurrie, portfolio manager at FNB Wealth & Investments described the allegations “quite serious”, saying that although the miner had done well under Glasenberg’s leadership, even as its competitors were struggling, the legal issues raised questions about the company’s governance.

For shareholder activist, Theo Botha, appointing people from within the company showed that it had good, sufficient planning. He also said Glasenberg deserved respect for not taking any short term bonuses during his time at Glencore and his big shareholding in the company showed that he had “skin in the game”.

“He never had a severance payment, so he just received his base salary and his pension contribution. I think there must be some respect for that, especially if you look at other companies, like at Woolworths, the CEO [Ian Moir] resigns and the board suddenly capitulates and pays them out these huge golden handshakes meanwhile, he hadn't peformed well,” Botha said.

But he said the Glasenberg could have done more and reacted faster to the fatalities in Glencore’s mines.

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