ASKED at a press conference what his successor might look like, Ivan Glasenberg replied: “I hope he looks like me.” It was a quip that anticipated in Gary Nagle, Glencore’s CEO from July, a company preferring continuity over novelty. Nagle might not be Glasenberg’s lookalike, but he is certainly a ‘think-alike’.
Analysts don’t expect Nagle to spring any surprises when he gets into his stride, which should be immediately. He’s been at the company since graduation (in accounting).
His alma mater is the University of the Witwatersrand, the same as Glasenberg’s. Like Glasenberg, Nagle learned the ropes in the group’s coal division.
Listening to Nagle at Glencore’s results presentation in February, he was on message with all of Glencore’s recent ideas and opinions, although importantly for Glencore’s corporate governance, Nagle will wield less influence over strategy. As a 9.2% shareholder, Glasenberg was uniquely positioned to have a bigger say on strategy than you’d expect of a regular CEO.
As for the company itself, it’s like the world’s mining industry has a suggestion box with ‘Glencore’ written on the outside. The Swiss group embodies in one place all of the boons and booby-traps of mining today: it produces coal (environment), it is facing corruption charges (governance), and it has cupboards-full of resources in minerals the world needs for a sustainable, decarbonised economy.
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