Director: Business Leadership South Africa
Since Venkat’s appointment as Joint CEO in March 2013 and as CEO in May 2013, AngloGold Ashanti has successfully brought two low cost mines into production, optimised its portfolio, collectively reduced overhead and operating costs by almost half and used internally generated funds to cut debt levels by a third, despite the sharply lower gold price. During this period overall safety and sustainability trends have improved and the company has sharpened its focus on improving sustainable free cash flow and returns.
Venkat was previously CFO at AngloGold Ashanti, a post he also held at Ashanti Goldfields, before its merger with AngloGold in 2004. In his role as CFO, he oversaw funding for both companies’ operating activities, giving him detailed knowledge of all mines and operating jurisdictions, with a unique perspective of both risks and opportunities. During this time Venkat led the team that eliminated a 12Moz hedge book at an attractive average price, generating significant value for the company. He was also the key executive behind rebuilding the balance sheet through a series of successful and innovative financings that included debt, convertible debt and equity. His efforts to secure an international investment grade rating for AngloGold Ashanti and then to successfully defend that rating after a wave of industrial unrest in South Africa, have helped AngloGold Ashanti retain a competitive cost of capital. As the lead executive on all M&A activity, he has successfully negotiated a series of value accretive acquisitions and disposals. Venkat has extensive experience of gold- and other capital markets.
Prior to joining Ashanti Goldfields, Venkat was a director of corporate reorganisation services at Deloitte & Touche in London.
Venkat is a Council member of the Chamber of Mines of South Africa, member of the Business Leadership of South Africa, Council member of the International Council of Minerals and Metals and a member of the Financial Reporting Investigation Panel, an advisory panel of the JSE.