Mining Billionaire Leaves a Dirty Task to His Successor – by Chris Bryant and Clara Ferreira Marques (Bloomberg News – December 6, 2020)

It’s hard to imagine a more daunting task than taking the reins from Ivan Glasenberg, Glencore Plc’s chief executive officer, a man who put his stamp on his company like few other corporate leaders have.

Thankfully, his 45-year-old successor, fellow South African Gary Nagle, has a way to make his own mark: by finding a way for the mining giant to exit coal, the business he currently oversees.

Having spent two decades transforming Glencore from a secretive trading outfit into its present globe-spanning incarnation — most notably via the 2013 takeover of Xstrata — the swashbuckling, outspoken, Glasenberg chose a low key way to reveal his imminent retirement at an investor event on Friday.

The company’s 2011 stock-market listing made billionaires of several Glencore executives (Nagle wasn’t part of that gilded generation), although they were made to work for their money. Glasenberg, a keen athlete, isn’t exactly a fan of work-life balance.

Glasenberg’s empire building hasn’t been immune to crisis. In 2015, when the commodities boom abruptly ended, Glencore was left holding too much debt.

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