By Joe Wallace 

LONDON -- Ivan Glasenberg, the longtime chief executive of Glencore PLC, is handing over the reins of the global mining and trading giant he built, saying Friday he would retire in the first half of next year.

Glencore said it had tapped Gary Nagle, a senior deputy who currently runs the company's coal industrial assets.

Mr. Glasenberg, a South African, joined Glencore in 1984 and has been CEO since 2002. He orchestrated the company's stock-market flotation in 2011 and shortly after merged it with miner Xstrata, transforming the company from a privately held commodities trading business to a publicly listed mining and trading giant.

Two years ago, he started to lay out a timeline for when he might stand down, and more recently said repeatedly it was getting close to the time for him and his senior leadership team to step aside for the next generation of managers.

Mr. Nagle, currently based in Australia, plans to move to Switzerland in the new year to work on the transition to new leadership, Glencore said.

"The old guys will be leaving," Mr. Glasenberg said on a conference call last December. "I don't want to be an old guy running this company -- and soon as those guys are ready to take over, I will move aside."

Mr. Nagle was widely seen as one of the front-runners to succeed Mr. Glasenberg. He will work alongside Mr. Glasenberg during a transition period starting in the new year.

Mr. Nagle joined Glencore in 2000 and, like Mr. Glasenberg, has worked his way through the company's coal business. From 2008 to 2013, he was chief executive of Prodeco, Glencore's coal operation in Colombia, before moving to South Africa to head up its alloys assets until 2018.

"It's time to hand over to the new generation and a younger leader," Mr. Glasenberg told investors on a call Friday, adding that he would retain his major shareholding in Glencore. "Gary can take this company forward in the future," he said of 45-year-old Mr. Nagle. "I'm happy to have him being the custodian of my shareholding in the company."

Write to Joe Wallace at Joe.Wallace@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 04, 2020 10:36 ET (15:36 GMT)

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