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Anglo American chief executives - a history

Posted: Tue, 24 Oct 2006

[] -- MININGMX takes a look at who has headed the diversified mining giant Anglo American over the years, on the day that it announced its new CEO set to take over the reins from Tony Trahar.

Date of Office
Sir Ernest Oppenheimer
1917 - 1957
Ernest Oppenheimer was born in Friedberg, Germany - the son of Edward Oppenheimer, a cigar merchant. He began his working life at 17, when he entered Dunkelsbuhler & Company, a diamond brokerage in London. His efforts impressed his employer and in 1902, at the age of 22, he was sent to South Africa to represent the company as a buyer in Kimberley. He founded the Anglo American Corporation of South Africa in 1917 and remained head of the company until his death in 1957.
Sir Harry Oppenheimer
1957 - 1982

Harry Oppenheimer, the son of Ernest Oppenheimer was born in Kimberley, South Africa to an assimilated Jewish family of German origins. After completing his primary schooling in Johannesburg, he attended Charterhouse School in England, before going on to study at Christ Church, Oxford University, graduating afer reading Philosophy, Politics and Economics. When he married his wife Bridget, he chose to enter the Anglican Church, yet nevertheless he remained a supporter of Jewish causes during the course of his life.

He became chairman of Anglo American in 1957 at the age of 49.

Gavin Relly
1982 - 1990

Born in Cape Town in 1926, Gavin Relly joined Anglo American in 1949 as private secretary to Mr Oppenheimer. Educated at Diocesan College (Bishops) in Cape Town, and Trinity College, Oxford, Relly also served in Italy during the Second World War.

In 1985 Mr Relly led the pioneering group of South African businessmen to meet the then banned African National Congress in Zambia, after becoming chairman of Anglo American in 1982.

Julian Ogilvie Thompson
1990 - 2000
Born in Cape Town in 1934, Julian Ogilvie Thompson also studied at Diocesan College in Cape Town before attending Oxford. He became personal assistant to Harry Oppenheimer in 1957 and in March 1990 he was appointed Chairman of Anglo following the retirement of Gavin Relly. Thompson led the merger in 1999 of Anglo and Minorco as Anglo American plc, becoming Chairman and Chief Executive, which latter office he handed over to successor, Tony Trahar, in July 2000, while continuing as non-executive Chairman.
Tony Trahar
2000 - 2007

Born in Johannesburg in 1949, Tony Trahar was educated at St John's College in Johannesburg and at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa, where he attained the degree of Bachelor of Commerce in 1970. After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant in 1973 he joined Anglo American Corporation in 1974 in the finance division.

From 1976 to 1977 he served as personal assistant to Mr Gavin Relly and in 1982 he was appointed finance director of Anglo American Industrial Corporation.  He was appointed Managing Director of Mondi, Anglo American's paper company, in 1986 and was made CEO of Anglo American in 2000. He is stepping down in March 2007.

Cynthia Carroll - incoming CEO
April 2007

Announced as the incoming CEO of Anglo American, Cynthia Carroll (49) is expected to take over the reins from Tony Trahar in April 2007. An American citizen, Carroll has a Masters of Science degree from the University of Kansas and an MBA from Harvard University. A director of Sara Lee Corporation, the American Aluminium Association, and the International Aluminium Institute Cynthia Carroll started her career with Alcan in 1988 and is currently President of the Alcan Primary Metal Group.