Tom Albanese to step down as Vedanta CEO in August

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Vedanta Resources, the miner controlled by Indian metals tycoon Anil Agarwal, has suffered a blow with its US chief executive set to leave the company later this year so that he can spend more time with his family.

Speaking to the Financial Times from Hong Kong, where he had been speaking at an investor conference, Tom Albanese said he would be returning to the US when his freshly extended contract expires at the end August.

“This is an entirely personal decision,” said Mr Albanese, a former chief executive of Rio Tinto. “For the past three and half years I have been away from my family and it is now appropriate for me to spend more time with them.”

“Vedanta is a great company that is doing some tremendous things. The business is doing very well and is very well positioned,” he continued. “Anil and the Board are committed to the strategy of ramping up the current businesses, improving the balance sheet, and simplifying the corporate structure with the Cairn Energy merger.”

Vedanta said on Thursday that it started the search for a new chief executive but did not say why it was looking to replace Mr Albanese who will remain with the company for another five months.

Instead, it said Mr Agarwal, the company’s executive chairman and majority shareholder, was leading a “succession process to identify candidates with the appropriate global experience” to the run the company, which is listed in London and a member of the FTSE 250.

The decision to look for a successor comes just weeks after Mr Agarwal’s family trust launched an audacious raid to buy a 12 per cent stake in Anglo American, a much larger rival to Vedanta.

People familiar with the company said Mr Agarwal and Mr Albanese had not clashed over strategy.

“I have a very good relationship with Mr Agarwal and have enjoyed working for the company,” said Mr Albanese, who has headed Vedanta since 2014.

It is the second senior departure at the company this year. Cynthia Carroll, the former CEO of Anglo American, recently left Vedanta, where she was helping to position the company’s aluminium busines.

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