Indian-origin man named CEO of South African gold mining firm

Durban, May 8 (IANS) South African gold-mining company AngloGold Ashanti has appointed Indian-origin Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan as it new chief executive officer with immediate effect.

"We're extremely pleased to have an executive of Mr Venkatakrishnan's calibre to lead AngloGold Ashanti through the next phase of its development," Tito Mboweni, chairman of the Johannesburg-headquartered firm said in a statement Wednesday.

"He will enjoy my personal support and the full support of the board as he brings his extensive experience to complement the impressive depth of our operating and strategic talent."

AngloGold Ashanti is one of the biggest gold mining, exploration and marketing companies in the world with 21 operations in 10 countries across four continents.

Its major development projects are located in Tropicana in Australia, Kibali in the Democratic Republic of Congo and La Colosa in Colombia.

Venkatakrishnan served as the company's chief financial officer (CFO) for nine years prior to this appointment.

According to the company statement, he will continue to serve as CFO simultaneously until further notice.

"In his role as CFO, he has overseen funding for all of AngloGold Ashanti's operating activities, giving him a detailed knowledge of all of our mines and operating jurisdictions," the company statement said.

Venkatakrishnan was earlier the CFO at Ashanti Goldfields until it merged with AngloGold in 2004.

He holds an A.C.A from Universidad Pontificia Comillas de Madrid.

Venkatakrishnan's appointment comes a day after Indian-origin Ivan Menezes was appointed the chief executive of London-headquartered Diageo, the world's largest liquor maker.

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