CFO who saved Anglogold $4bn gets top job

AngloGold Ashanti on Tuesday appointed long-time insider Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan (Venkat) as CEO following Mark Cutifani's promotion to the top job at parent Anglo-American.

Venkatakrishnan has been with AngloGold Ashanti – world number three gold miner in terms of production – for nine years.

Venkatakrishnan was the CFO at Ashanti Goldfields until its merger with AngloGold Limited in May 2004. Shortly after the merger he became Chief Financial Officer of the combined entity and joined the board in 2005. Venkat had also previously been a Director of Corporate Reorganisation Services at Deloitte & Touche in London.

In a statement AngloGold Ashanti said Venkat was the executive responsible for eliminating a 12 million ounce hedge book.

AngloGold's move to scrap its hedge book in early 2008 cost it some $6 billion, but still saved the company a further $4 billion.

“We’re extremely pleased to have an executive of Mr. Venkatakrishnan’s calibre to lead AngloGold Ashanti through the next phase of its development,” Tito Mboweni, AngloGold Ashanti Chairman and an ex-governor of the South African Reserve Bank, said. “Venkat will enjoy my personal support and the full support of the board as he brings his extensive experience to complement the impressive depth of our operating and strategic talent.”

Headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, AngloGold Ashanti has 20 operations on four continents and last year produced 3.94 million ounces of gold in 2012, generating $6.35bn in gold income. As at 31 December 2012, AngloGold Ashanti’s ore reserve totalled 74.1 million ounces.

RELATED: Are gold miners starting to hedge again?