Case | HBS Case Collection | October 2013 (Revised March 2015)

Cynthia Carroll at Anglo American (A)

by Gautam Mukunda, Lisa Mazzanti and Aldo Sesia


In 2007, Cynthia Carroll, the newly-appointed chief executive of mining giant Anglo American, was considering shutting down mines in South Africa for safety reasons, namely worker fatalities. No company had ever done so before. Carroll felt that operating a company whose goal was anything less than "zero harm" (meaning no fatalities or serious injuries) was unacceptable. As the first woman and non-South African to lead the century-old company, many were watching her closely. Should she go so far as to make the unprecedented move of shutting down the mines? What message would that send to the company and to the mining industry? The lives of others, Carroll's reputation, and the company's performance were all on the line.

Keywords: leadership; culture; change management; Safety; Working Conditions; Business Exit or Shutdown; Organizational Culture; Gender; Management Teams; Mining; Mining Industry; South Africa;


Mukunda, Gautam, Lisa Mazzanti, and Aldo Sesia. "Cynthia Carroll at Anglo American (A)." Harvard Business School Case 414-019, October 2013. (Revised March 2015.)