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.
The Switzerland-based, London-listed company said it had tapped
Gary Nagle, a senior deputy who currently runs the company's coal
industrial assets, as his successor.
Mr. Glasenberg, a 63-year-old 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 it from a privately held commodities
trading business into a publicly listed mining and trading
Two years ago, he started to lay out a timeline for when he
might stand down, and more recently said it was getting close to
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. He was widely seen as one of the
front-runners to succeed Mr. Glasenberg.
"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 joined Glencore in 2000 and, like Mr. Glasenberg,
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 the company's
alloys assets until 2018.
"It's time to hand over to the new generation and a younger
leader," Mr. Glasenberg told investors 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
Founded as Marc Rich & Co. in 1974 by Marc Rich, the
one-time fugitive trader, Glencore initially traded metals,
minerals and crude oil. The U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan
would eventually indict Mr. Rich, partner Pincus Green and the
company on 65 counts, including buying oil from Iran during the
1979 hostage crisis. Mr. Rich and Mr. Green were later pardoned by
President Bill Clinton.
The company became known as Glencore after Mr. Rich sold his
stake in the early 1990s.
A former coal trader, Mr. Glasenberg took control of the firm's
world-wide coal business in 1990 and spearheaded its dominant
position in coal mining, snapping up operations in Colombia, South
Africa and Australia.
After being named CEO in 2002, he quickly gained a reputation
for being one of the mining industry's most astute deal makers.
When he took Glencore public, he became a billionaire on paper. Mr.
Glasenberg still owns a 9.1% stake in Glencore worth about $3.8
billion, according to data provider FactSet.
In 2013, he merged the then trading-focused Glencore with mining
giant Xstrata in a $29.5 billion deal that created one of the
world's largest coal, copper and zinc producers.
During his tenure, Mr. Glasenberg -- a champion racewalker --
also became known for his bluntness, aversion to personal publicity
and hands-on management style. Once asked in an interview with The
Wall Street Journal if the company had a work-life balance, Mr.
Glasenberg said: "No. We work. You don't come here to take life
easy. And we all got rich from it, so, you know, there's a benefit
In recent years, Glencore has come under heavy scrutiny from
U.S. authorities. It said in July 2018 that it had received a
subpoena from the U.S. Justice Department, demanding records
related to its compliance with American antibribery and
money-laundering laws in Congo, Nigeria and Venezuela.
Glencore has also said it is the subject of an investigation by
the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. It has said it is
cooperating with both probes.
Glencore said in August that it spent $56 million in the first
half of 2020 defending itself from various government
investigations, including those undertaken by the Justice
Department, CFTC, the U.K.'s Serious Fraud Office and Brazilian
Shares in Glencore rose more than 3% Friday. The announcement of
Mr. Glasenberg's retirement came on a day when the company also
said it planned to reduce its emissions to net zero by 2050.
Write to Joe Wallace at Joe.Wallace@wsj.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
December 04, 2020 11:19 ET (16:19 GMT)
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