After less than two years at the helm, AngloGold Ashanti [JSE: ANG] CEO Kelvin Dushnisky is stepping down from the on 1 September, the mining company said in a notice to shareholders on Thursday.
Reasons for the Canadian’s exit was not given but the miner said he would be available to assist in the handover until the end of February.
Mergence Investment Managers mining analyst Peter Major, said the resignation news came as a “complete shock” and he even read the notice twice to be sure. The shock comes especially as things at the company are looking good, usually a CEO leaves when things are “going downhill,” he said.
AngloGold’s shares have gained almost fivefold since Dushnisky took over the miner in September 2018, compared to an All Share Index’s 19% decline. After the surprise announcement on Thursday, the shares ended the day 2.8% lower.
Dushnisky made headlines earlier this year, after AngloGold’s annual report showed he repaid a $800 000 bonus that he received shortly after joining AngloGold. This was to compensate for the bonus he would have received from his former company, Barrick Gold, Bloomberg reported.
The Public Investment Corporation, a shareholder of AngloGold, enquired on the details of the transaction. According to the gold miner, Dushnisky repaid the bonus after he received an incentive of $926 160 from Barrick, Bloomberg reported.
Current chief financial officer Christine Ramon has been appointed as interim CEO, as the board embarks on a recruitment process for a permanent CEO.
“The recruitment process will be designed to search for the candidate with strong leadership skills and relevant industry experience as well as values which are aligned with AngloGold Ashanti,” the company said.
Dushnisky has been leading AngloGold’s sale of its assets in South Africa. In February, the miner announced the sale of its last remaining SA assets to Harmony Gold for $300 million. He has overseen the sale of mines in Mali and Argentina.