Kelvin Dushnisky, the new CEO of AngloGold Ashanti and the former president of Barrick Gold, is so politely Canadian that I wonder if he’s too polite to run the world’s third-biggest gold company. Mining bosses tend to be egocentric Type-A personalities who would happily dive into a tank of great white sharks if they knew a treasure box were at the bottom.
Mr. Dushnisky – an “honourable man” according to a former senior Barrick employee I know – seems like the anti-mining boss. He is unfailingly courteous, answers e-mails almost immediately, doesn’t swear and doesn’t have a bad word to say about anyone; he will admit only that some personalities he has worked with were “challenging.”
He is pleasantly self-deprecating, wondering, for instance, if even The Globe and Mail’s best photographer can make him look like anything but the “Jackie Gleason” of gold mining (in truth, Mr. Dushnisky, slim and modest, is the polar opposite of the chubby, bellowing star of the 1950s sitcom The Honeymooners).
If he has a ruthless side, I fail to detect it during a two-hour-plus breakfast in London in late March. But it must be there, somewhere, even in small doses. How else could he go from effectively running Barrick, the top gold producer, to actually running one of its main rivals, AngloGold?
Mr. Dushnisky, a Manitoba boy who considers Oakville, Ont., his home, spent 16 years at Barrick, when the company, largely under the chairmanship of the late Peter Munk, emerged as Canada’s sole world-scale mining company, albeit one with severe pockets of trouble in Latin America and Africa.
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