NATASCHA Viljoen, group head of processing at Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), has been tipped by BusinessLive as the lead contender to take over management of the group following the surprise resignation of CEO, Chris Griffith on Monday.
The publication said Viljoen was the “sensible money” for the post, partly owning to her “strong track record” as the executive head of the processing division at Lonmin, once the world’s third largest platinum producer.
Duncan Wanblad, a mechanical engineer who heads Anglo American’s group strategy and business development, was also identified as a possible front-runner, although the speculation is that he’s a possible candidate to replace Mark Cutifani as CEO of the group. A third potential candidate is Anglo Coal CEO, July Ndlovu, said BusinessLive.
Viljoen is credited with turning about a problematic concentrator and smelting business during her six years at Amplats. She joined Anglo in 2014, giving her six years in the role. Before Lonmin she worked at BHP Billiton, giving her the corporate experience of working in a large, multinational resources business, said BusinessLive.
Griffith announced on February 17 that he would bring the curtain down on its seven-year tenure at the firm, saying the time was right to make way for a new leader. During his time as CEO, Griffith oversaw the restructuring of the company, cutting more than 400,000 ounces in platinum production and thousands of jobs.
Amplats paid a R14.2bn dividend following a stellar performance in the 2019 financial year assisted by the strong performance of the rand basket of platinum group metal prices.