Gary Fegel, who has run Glencore’s aluminium division since 2006, will leave the company this summer, according to a person familiar with the situation.
Mr Fegel holds a 1.17 per cent stake in the group, worth about $800m at current prices, making him the fifth-largest shareholder among Glencore’s partners and the ninth-largest overall.
His departure may be a reflection of Glencore’s competitive trading culture in which deputies are encouraged to challenge department heads.
He follows Robert Franco, head of cobalt trading, who is also leaving the company.
Mr Fegel is the second of Glencore’s 12 directors at the time of its 2011 listing to leave the company. Steve Blumgart, who had been co-head of aluminium, left in early 2012.
Under Mr Fegel, Glencore has dominated the global aluminium market. Its long-term contract to buy aluminium from Rusal, the world’s largest producer of the commodity, has given it a ready supply of metal. In 2010 it bought Pacorini, one of the top metals warehousing company.
According to its listing prospectus it trades about 4m tonnes of the metal each year – a fifth of the third-party market.
The takeover of Xstrata by Glencore, which was completed earlier this month, is the largest ever in the mining industry and the fifth-largest in the history of the natural resources sector.
Ivan Glasenberg, chief executive, has promised to cut jobs and close down offices in an effort to boost shareholder returns.