(Bloomberg) — Ivan Glasenberg, who built Glencore Plc into a dominant force in commodities trading and became the face of the industry, told investors he plans to retire in three to five years, according to people familiar with the matter.
Glasenberg discussed his succession plan in recent meetings and said he has started training three to four front runners as the next chief executive officer, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the conversations were private. Glasenberg, who turns 62 in January, anticipates retiring between the ages of 65 and 67, and believes the next leader should come from a younger generation, the people said. A spokesman for Glencore declined to comment.
The comments put a timeline on the chief executive’s exit for the first time and force investors to consider what had long seemed unthinkable: a Glencore without Glasenberg. The brash, workaholic South African started his career at Glencore more than three decades ago, and has held the top job since 2002.
But Glasenberg’s age and the announcement earlier this year of a U.S. investigation into Glencore’s dealings in the Democratic Republic of Congo have spurred questions on succession planning from investors and analysts.
Jefferies LLC analysts said in a note dated Oct. 15 that it was “a common question from investors” whether the probe by the U.S. Department of Justice would lead to management changes.
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