Mining mogul Anil Agarwal-led Vedanta Resources plc today announced the appointment of Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan as the new chief executive of the company, replacing interim CEO Kuldip Kaura.
Venkatakrishnan, or Venkat as he is known, is currently the CEO of Johannesburg-based AngloGold Ashanti Ltd, the world’s largest emerging market gold producer.
Venkat, 53, will assume the new role effective August 31, the company said in a statement.
Vedanta had in August last year appointed an interim chief executive, Kaura, to replace Tom Albanese. Albanese, a former chief executive of rival Rio Tinto, returned to the US after his three-year contract, which was extended by five months, expired at the end of August.
Kaura was made interim CEO from September 1 but he did not serve as a director on the board. He will continue in the role till Venkat joins.
Venkat would be a member of the board of directors effective August 31, the statement said.
Since 2013, Venkat has been CEO of AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. Between 2005 and 2013, he was AngloGold Ashanti’s Chief Financial Officer and prior to this, he was CFO of London-listed Ashanti Goldfields Ltd.
Agarwal, Chairman of Vedanta, said, “We have gone through a very thorough search process and are delighted to invite Venkat to join Vedanta in the position of CEO. Venkat is a widely respected business leader in the global resources space, who brings to Vedanta an impressive set of values and a wealth of experience in corporate and other roles in the UK, Africa, Australia, South America and India.”
He also has a strong track record of managing a complex portfolio of operating assets and projects across Africa, he said. “He has proved his ability to deliver significant operating and financial improvements, while also ensuring important advances in sustainability.”
Venkat said Vedanta has an outstanding reputation as a global, diversified resources business with world-class assets and an exceptional team.
“My initial focus will be to ensure continued operational excellence, efficient cost management and capital discipline across the portfolio, while continuing to drive improvements to the overall sustainability performance of the business, thereby creating long-term value for all stakeholders,” he said.
Kaura, who started off working for ABB India, was chief executive of Vedanta between 2005 and 2008. He has since worked as president of the chairman’s office at the company.
Venkat is a qualified Chartered Accountant who holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Madras.