Zimbabwe man snatches South Africa's best job

The old chief executive Anglo American South Africa has been scrapped with the formation of seven business units, each with their own head reporting to the head office in London.

Gomwe will act as Anglo CEO Cynthia Carroll’s right-hand man in South Africa, leading the group there, coordinating the three business units – platinum, iron ore and thermal coal — in the country to make sure they behave as one Anglo. He will also lead Anglo’s relationships with the government, unions and other stakeholders.

Gomwe is an internal appointment, having worked with the diversified resources group for ten years. He currently heads up the Group Business Development Africa unit at Anglo.

One of his earlier positions was that of finance director and chief operating officer of Anglo American South Africa. He chaired Mondi SA, an Anglo paper business before it was restructured, as well as Highveld Steel.

“Godfrey Gomwe’s depth of business and leadership experience in the mining and metals industry will be invaluable in his leadership of Anglo American South Africa," said Cynthia Carroll, Anglo CEO.

Anglo said Gomwe had “developed a network of contacts within the current South African administration”.

“He also has a depth of experience in working with African government and political organisations (on projects in Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Kenya and Ghana),” it said.

Gomwe said: “As the Group’s key representative in South Africa, I look forward to reinforcing our relationships with all our major stakeholders.”

In 1997, addressing a Parliamentarians forum, Gomwe blasted Zimbabweans saying they were immature as far as empowerment was concerned, and tended to personalise business issues, thus blocking many potentially profitable business transactions.

“There’s a lot of talk, talk, and a lot of confusion. There’s the problem of an ethnic divide that is causing unnecessary division.

“The political leadership has failed to unite this divide,” Gomwe said, when presenting a paper on economic empowerment at the inaugural parliamentary public lecture.

He added that economic empowerment lobby groups such as the AAG, IBDC and IBWO, were merely catalysts to the process. 

This statement did not go down well with the Zimbabwean political establishment and he was set up and besmirched with a highly publicised sex scandal which went to the courts and almost ruined his career.  

Biography: Godfrey Gomwe

-20 years experience in executive level positions in the Metals and Mining industry, including 10 years with the Anglo American Group. He has held many directorships in both listed and unlisted companies.

-Currently Head of Group Business Development, Africa for Anglo American. Also Chairman of Anglo Zimele, the Transformation Committee of Anglo American South Africa, and Anglo American Zimbabwe.

-Has served on a number of Anglo American operating boards and executive committees during his time with the Group. He was previously Finance Director and Chief Operating Officer of Anglo American South Africa. He was also Chairman of Highveld Steel and Chairman of Mondi SA, prior to its restructuring.

-During his tenure in these COO and Chairman roles, he has developed and led the execution of major business strategic repositioning and transformation strategies.

-Before moving to South Africa in 2003, he was the Chief Executive of Anglo American Zimbabwe, during which time he was awarded the Anglo Global CEO’s safety award in 2003 (Bindura Nickel) and runner up 2005 (Zimbabwe Alloys).

-He has a developed network of contacts within the current South African administration. He also has a depth of experience in working with African government and political organisations (on projects in Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Kenya and Ghana).

-Ten years of venture capital experience, gained as Chairman of Takura Ventures, one of the most successful funds in the then CDC group.

-Chairman of Tshikululu Social Investments, a leading company that manages the social investments for several companies, including the Chairman’s Funds, First Rand Foundation, Discovery Foundation, De Beers and others.

-Chartered accountant by profession and holds a Masters degree in Business Leadership from the University of South Africa.