Glencore shareholders dump chairman Bond

PUBLISHED : Friday, 17 May, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 17 May, 2013, 3:33pm

John Bond, the chairman of Glencore Xstrata, the world's largest exporter of power-station coal, was deposed by his shareholders yesterday, with the former chief executive of BP, Tony Hayward, appointed as interim chairman in his place.

Bond stepped down at the start of Glencore's annual meeting in Zug, Switzerland, saying he did not have enough support.

Shareholders voted 80.85 per cent against his selection, Glencore said in a statement later. The company is seeking candidates and consulting with major external shareholders, and Hayward will step down once a replacement is found, it said.

Glencore halted trading on the Hong Kong stock exchange yesterday, before the annual meeting in Switzerland

Glencore completed the US$29 billion acquisition of Xstrata this month to create the world's fourth-biggest mining company, with a market value of about US$68 billion.

The ousting of Bond and fellow director Steve Robson, who also announced he was quitting yesterday, adds to a list of Xstrata executives who departed in recent months as the completion of the takeover neared.

Bond, 71, formerly the chairman of Xstrata, and chairman of HSBC until 2006, said in November that he would not take on the role of chairman of the combined company as planned and would leave once the board created by Glencore's takeover of Xstrata found a replacement.

Yesterday Glencore shareholders also rejected former Xstrata board members Ian Strachan, Con Fauconnier and Peter Hooley as directors. The remuneration report was passed, with 22 per cent opposed.

Glencore, based in Baar, Switzerland, the largest publicly traded commodities supplier, may consider a listing of shares in Switzerland, chief executive Ivan Glasenberg told the meeting yesterday.

Hayward, 55, is the chief executive of Genel Energy, the largest oil producer in Iraq's Kurdish region.

He resigned from BP, Europe's second-biggest energy company, in October 2010 after the Gulf of Mexico disaster. The Macondo well exploded on April 20, 2010, killing 11 workers on the Deepwater Horizon oil platform and unleashing the worst offshore oil spill in US history.

Bond announced his intention to resign after investors defied the Xstrata board's recommendation for approval of a £144 million package in retention bonuses for 70 Xstrata managers.