Five questions answered on Cynthia Carroll

CEO steps down.



Cynthia Carroll today announced she would step down from mining giant Anglo American. We answer five questions on Carroll’s resignation.

Why has Carroll stepped down at this time?


Carroll’s official line is that she felt ‘the time was right’. 


However, it is believed Carroll has stepped down because of mounting pressure from shareholders who are said to have lost confidence in her strategy and leadership after a sharp drop in profits. 


On July 27 Anglo announced that first-half earnings had fallen 46pc to $3.7bn (£2.4bn) which triggered a fall of 3.6pc in the share price.


Shareholders are believed to have made the unusual move of going over the head of the chairman of Anglo, Sir John Parker, who had previously rebuffed their concerns, and contacted David Challen, the company's senior independent director, to demand the chairman be overruled and a new Chief Executive found.


What has Carroll said? 


"I am extremely proud of everything we have achieved during my period as chief executive and I will always retain enormous admiration and affection for this great company and its outstanding people," she said. 

"It is a very difficult decision to leave, but next year I will be entering my seventh year as chief executive and I feel that the time will be right to hand over to a successor who can build further on the strong foundations we have created."


What has Anglo said? 


"Cynthia's leadership has had a transformational impact on Anglo American. She developed a clear strategy, based on a highly attractive range of core commodities, and created a strong and unified culture and a streamlined organisation with a focus on operational performance."


"Her legacy will include, among many other things, a step change improvement in safety, sustainability and the quality of our dialogue with governments, communities and other stakeholders," he added.


When will Carroll leave her post? 


When a successor has been appointed and a handover has taken place. 


What does this mean for the border spectrum of business? 


That there are only two women left in charge of Britain’s biggest companies; these are Angela Ahrendts at Burberry and Alison Cooper of Imperial Tobacco. Anglo will now also be looking for a Chief Executive to replace Carroll.

Anglo American is under pressure from shareholders. Photograph: Getty Images.

Heidi Vella is a features writer for

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En français, s'il vous plaît! EU lead negotiator wants to talk Brexit in French

C'est très difficile. 

In November 2015, after the Paris attacks, Theresa May said: "Nous sommes solidaires avec vous, nous sommes tous ensemble." ("We are in solidarity with you, we are all together.")

But now the Prime Minister might have to brush up her French and take it to a much higher level.

Reuters reports the EU's lead Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, would like to hold the talks in French, not English (an EU spokeswoman said no official language had been agreed). 

As for the Home office? Aucun commentaire.

But on Twitter, British social media users are finding it all très amusant.

In the UK, foreign language teaching has suffered from years of neglect. The government may regret this now . . .

Julia Rampen is the editor of The Staggers, The New Statesman's online rolling politics blog. She was previously deputy editor at Mirror Money Online and has worked as a financial journalist for several trade magazines.