Cynthia Carroll

Cynthia Blum Carroll (born November 13, 1956[1][2][3]) is a British businesswoman. She was the chief executive officer of Anglo American PLC,[4] a British mining company, which, among other things, is the world's largest platinum producer.[5]

On October 24, 2006, Carroll was hired by Anglo American, and joined the board in January 2007, becoming chief executive at the beginning of March 2007. She chaired Anglo American’s Executive Committee and sat on the Safety and Sustainable Development Committee.[6] She was one of only three female chief executives of FTSE 100 companies and the first non-South African to hold the post with Anglo American.[7][8]

In 2008 she was ranked by the magazine Forbes as the fifth most powerful woman in the world. She was ranked fourth in 2009 and seventh in 2007 by the same list.[9]

Her annual salary at Anglo American was £1,050,000 with an annual bonus of £319,000.[10]

Anglo American announced on October 26, 2012, that Carroll would step down as chief executive.[11]

She has been a non-executive director of BP since June 6, 2007.

Carroll previously worked for Alcan, as president and chief executive officer of the Primary Metal Group since 2002. She joined Alcan in 1989. In January 1996 she was promoted to managing director of the Aughinish Alumina division, located on Aughinish Island, Askeaton, County Limerick, Ireland.[12] Before joining Alcan, she worked for Amoco, which is now part of British Petroleum, for eight years as a petroleum geologist, from 1982 to 1987, working in gas and oil exploration in Colorado, Alaska, Wyoming, Utah, and Montana.[13]

She is married with four children.[14]

Early years and career

Carroll graduated from Skidmore College in 1978, a Bachelor of Science in Geology.[12] She holds a Masters of Science degree in Geology from the University of Kansas (1982) and a Masters of Business Administration from Harvard University (1989).

In 2012 she was elected a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering.[15]

She formerly served as a director of Sara Lee and AngloGold Ashanti Limited.[6] She also sits on the Boards of American Aluminium Association and the International Aluminium Institute.[16]

Cynthia Carroll has launched a number of new initiatives within the business, including an asset optimisation project; the introduction of the value based management methodology within Anglo American;[17] and a push to improve safety performance. In 2007, she closed two platinum shafts in South Africa following a number of fatalities until the workforce received more safety training[18] She participated in the Tripartite Safety Summit in 2008 with union, government and industry representatives to address safety concerns in the mining industry[19] Since Cynthia Carroll took over as chief executive, Anglo American has acquired stakes in two copper projects Michiquillay in Peru[20] and Pebble in the US;[21] a coal company Foxleigh in Australia;[22] and the iron ore project in Brazil, Minas-Rio.[23]

Criticism and controversy

Carroll was personally attacked while at Anglo American for her responsibility in the conglomerate's labour rights record[24] as well as her role in several environmentally controversial projects piloted by the company.[25] Carroll was nicknamed by Grist Magazine as "Cyanide Cynthia, world's biggest Scrooge" for her role in the Pebble Mine project in Alaska.[26] Carroll’s strategy for Anglo American has attracted criticism. Some shareholders see her modernization plans as too radical for a company that has historically had such an important role in the South African economy, while others complain that the company has been undermanaged, and that she has not yet delivered on her proposals. And Anglo American’s recent decision to suspend its dividend has drawn criticism.

Carroll has implemented measures to address safety concerns.[27] Anglo American responded to the allegations in the War on Want report[28] and separately disclosed its safety performance in its annual earnings report.[29]

The Grist magazine nickname was later discussed in a Fast Company magazine article that profiled Carroll’s initiatives surrounding the Pebble Mine project.[18] In 2007, Carroll issued a series of social, environmental and economic commitments on behalf of the Pebble Partnership to address concerns from the local community.[30]


  1. "Carroll, Cynthia". Current Biography Yearbook 2011. Ipswich, MA: H.W. Wilson. 2011. pp. 112–115. ISBN 9780824211219.
  2. Griffiths, Katherine (2006-10-24). "Who is Cynthia Carroll?". London: Telegraph (UK). Retrieved 2009-06-15.
  4. Bawden, Tom (January 8, 2013). "Anglo American finds a safe pair of hands". The Independent. London.
  5. "Anglo Platinum Sell Assets", Associated Press, September 4, 2007.
  6. "Anglo American Leadership Team", "Anglo American plc", July 24, 2009.
  7. Timmons, Heather. "Tradition-Breaking Choice to Be Chief of Mining Giant", New York Times, October 25, 2006.
  8. Walsh, Fiona. "Anglo American names new chief executive", London Guardian, October 24, 2006.
  9. " #5 Cynthia Carroll", Forbes, August 27, 2008.
  10. "Cynthia Carroll: Executive Profile & Biography". BusinessWeek. McGraw-Hill. Retrieved 22 August 2009.
  11. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-10-28. Retrieved 2012-10-26.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. "Leading the Way", Newsweek, December 18, 2006.
  13. Press Release & supplemental materials. "Anglo American names Cynthia Carroll as new CEO", AngloAmerican PLC, October 23, 2006.
  14. "Money". 16 February 2016. Retrieved 25 January 2018 via
  15. "RAEng: List of Fellows". Retrieved 14 August 2015.
  16. Griffiths, Katherine."Who is Cynthia Carroll?", London Telegraph, October 25, 2006.
  17. "Asset optimisation and Financial performance", "Anglo American Annual Report 2008", March 13, 2009.
  18. Warner, Melaine."Anglo American's Bristol Bay Controversy: Wildlife vs. Mineral Riches", "Fast Company", October 13, 2008.
  19. Ryan, Brendan. "Tough talk at safety summit", "Miningmx", April 29, 2008.
  20. Williams, Lawrence."Anglo awarded Michiquillay copper project in Peru", "Mineweb", May 01, 2007.
  21. Renewable Resources Coalition "Northern Dynasty & Anglo American Establish 50:50 Partnership to Advance Pebble Project to Production", "MAC: Mines and Communities", July 31, 2007.
  22. Grant-Taylor, Tony "Anglo Coal buys into Foxleigh coalmine", "Couriermail", December 26, 2007.
  23. Ryan, Brendan."Anglo steps up iron ore race", "Miningmx", January 17, 2008.
  24. Anglo American: The Alternative Report Archived 2009-02-13 at the Wayback Machine
  25. The Washington Post. "Alaskans Weigh the Cost of Gold". Retrieved 2007-12-27.
  26. Hurowitz, Glenn "Mining CEO loves gold, hates fish", "Grist", December 26, 2007.
  27. " #7 Cynthia Carroll", Forbes, August 30, 2007.
  28. Press Release & supplemental materials. "Response to Allegations Made in War on Want's "Anglo American - The Alternative Report"", "Anglo American plc", August 9, 2007.
  29. "Anglo American Interim Report 2007" "Anglo American plc", August 21, 2007.
  30. Magee, Sean "Cynthia Carroll pledges Pebble will go beyond compliance" Archived 2008-07-20 at the Wayback Machine, "The Pebble Partnership", October 23, 2007.
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