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Hard decisions ahead for Gold Fields’ new CEO

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Chris Griffith,  incoming CEO of Gold Fields.
Chris Griffith, incoming CEO of Gold Fields.

It is characteristic of Chris Griffith, the incoming CEO of Gold Fields, that he takes up duties at the gold company the day after his 12-month “gardening leave” expires, which is end-March. When Gold Fields last year announced the impending departure of Nick Holland, on the basis the CEO of 13 years would turn the mandatory age of retirement in 2021 of 63, the plan was for “a handover” period, possibly of up to six months.

Now, however, Holland has agreed to leave earlier than planned. There doesn’t appear to be any objection to this, it’s just typical of Griffith that he would immediately want to imprint his own ideas on Gold Fields – even though Holland has had executive duties there for nearly two decades.

Griffith was previously CEO of Anglo American Platinum(Amplats) for eight years until 2020, and before that CEO of Kumba Iron Ore for four years– both companies in the Anglo American stable. In both cases, he stepped into companies experiencing cyclical lows in the pricing of platinum and iron ore respectively.

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