Report says Anglo American to unveil Duncan Wanblad as successor to CEO Mark Cutifani

Duncan Wanblad, head of strategy and business development, Anglo American

DUNCAN Wanblad, head of strategy and development at Anglo American, is being lined up as the UK-listed group’s next CEO, according to a report by Sky News.

Citing City sources, the broadcaster said today that an announcement could be made regarding Wanblad’s appointment as early as end-October, and at the latest by the end of the year.

Wanblad (54), a mechanical engineer, was previously head of Anglo American’s base metals division from 2013 to 2019. His first job was at the former South African mining house Johannesburg Consolidated Investment Company.

Cutifani, who has run Anglo American since 2013, told Miningmx in 2019 that his contract with Anglo American was “open-ended”.

“The arrangement with the board is that it’s an annual renewable. We’ve still got a way to go and we’ve not agreed on anything yet,” he said.

Commenting on finding a successor for Cutifani, an analyst said at the time: “For me, it’s the guys who’ve been involved in business development such as Duncan Wanblad or Bruce Cleaver, CEO of De Beers”.

Asked in July about his career plans, Cutifani indicated that he would stay in the saddle at Anglo American until the completion of the firm’s $5.2bn Quellaveco copper project.

Speaking to Miningmx in 2020, Cutifani said of his potential successor: “I think the last thing is to have a clone of the last person.

“All organisations have to evolve in different ways and the board is prudent enough to chose a person with a strategic mindset but who might also be a bit different.

“In terms of background, I’m less worried about their certificate but it’s their ability to connect resources, develop industrial processes, reach financial outcomes.

“The next CEO has to anticipate the world and where it’s going in terms of climate change, the circular economy, material sciences and digitalisation. They have to be part of that, have that understanding and see that trajectory.”