CHRIS Griffith, the former CEO of Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), is being lined up to take over at Gold Fields, according to market speculation.
Griffith declined to comment. His gardening leave following his departure from Amplats in April last year was due to expire in March.
“There’s a no comment from us,” said Sven Lunsche, spokesman for Gold Fields.
Griffith helped implement the restructuring of Amplats assets from about 2013, but it’s thought he’s long craved more independence. As CEO of Amplats, the company’s direction was driven by the board of Anglo American which has an 80% stake in the company.
“If it’s true, and I’ve heard the rumours, I think Chris will finally get his hands around an international mining company,” said Daniel Sacks, a portfolio manager for Ninety-One, an asset management company.
Gold Fields CEO, Nick Holland, announced his resignation in August as he was due to reach the company’s mandatory age of retirement of 63 this year.
The Gold Fields board had given itself until September to find a replacement, but Gold Fields is unlikely to wait that long.
“We hope to have her or him in place by next year so there is an overlap,” said Lunsche in August. Holland will have been CEO of Gold Fields for 13 years when he departs.
Before Amplats, Griffith was previously CEO of Kumba Iron Ore. He is a mining engineer with a bachelor in engineering from the University of Pretoria.