AngloGold Ashanti's boss is stepping down to lead FTSE 250 miner Vedanta Resources

Courtney Goldsmith
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A worker shows a gold bar ready for sale
The chief executive of AngloGold Ashanti will take the top job at Vedanta (Source: Getty)

The boss of South African gold miner AngloGold Ashanti has stepped down to head up FTSE 250 firm Vedanta Resources.

Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan (Venkat), who has led the world's top emerging markets gold producer since 2013, will succeed Vedanta's interim chief executive Kuldip Kaura from 31 August.

Kaura took over after former boss Tom Albanese left Vedanta in 2017.

Venkat spent 18 years at AngloGold, including working as the firm's chief financial officer, and during his time as chief exec AngloGold cut costs and ramped up production by 26 per cent. Previous to that he was the boss of London-listed miner Ashanti Goldfields Limited.

Read more: Vedanta digs deep to boost mined metals production

Anil Agarwal, the chairman of Vedanta, called Venkat a "widely respected" business leader in the global resources sector with experience in the UK, Africa, Australia, South America and India.

Agarwal said:

He also has a strong track record managing a complex portfolio of operating assets and projects across Africa.

He has proved his ability to deliver significant operating and financial improvements, while also ensuring important advances in sustainability.

Venkat said he was "honoured" to work with Agarwal and the board in leading the company through its next phase of development.

"Vedanta has an outstanding reputation as a global, diversified resources business with world-class assets and an exceptional team," he said.

"My initial focus will be to ensure continued operational excellence, efficient cost management and capital discipline across the portfolio, while continuing to drive improvements to the overall sustainability performance of the business, thereby creating long-term value for all stakeholders."

Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan will become the chief executive of Vedanta (Source: AngloGold Ashanti)

AngloGold, which had plans for a London listing shot down by shareholders in 2014, said it has begun the search for a new chief executive with the aim of announcing a successor before Venkat leaves at the end of August.

"The board will search globally for a candidate with the requisite experience and breadth of expertise, and who will be committed to maintaining the discipline and value focus that has become a hallmark of this business," said chairman Sipho Pityana.

Shares in Vedanta were trading 2.35 per cent lower at 730p in morning trading.

AngloGold's Johannesburg-listed shares were also about two per cent lower, and Tyler Broda, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets, said he expected shareholders to be "somewhat disappointed" by the news.

Read more: Banks left red-faced by AngloGold Ashanti $2.1bn float flop

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