Ivan Glasenberg

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Ivan Glasenberg
Glasenberg in 2013
Born (1957-01-07) 7 January 1957 (age 66)
Johannesburg, South Africa
Alma mater
Known forFormer CEO of Glencore

Ivan Glasenberg (born 7 January 1957) is a South African business executive and former chief executive officer of Glencore, one of the world's largest commodity trading and mining companies.[1] He was the company's CEO from 2002 to 2021. Glasenberg has or had citizenship of South Africa and Australia. He became a Swiss citizen in 2011.[2] He is also on the board of mining company Minara Resources Ltd.

Background and early career[edit]

Glasenberg was born 7 January 1957 in South Africa to a Jewish family.[3] His father, Samuel Glasenberg, was "a luggage manufacturer and importer born in Lithuania", and his mother, Blanche Vilensky, was South African. The family lived in Illovo, a suburb of Johannesburg. Glasenberg was an athlete, and by his early 20s was national junior champion in race walking.[1] Ivan married Elana Beverley Orelowitz in 1984. In his youth Glasenberg was also a friend of Mick Davis, who would become the CEO of mining company Xstrata.

Glasenberg graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Accountancy from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. Glasenberg was with Nexia Levitt Kirson, a firm of chartered accountants, for five years and is a Chartered Accountant, South Africa [CA (SA)].[4] He received his MBA from the IBEAR program at University of Southern California in 1983.[5]

Business career[edit]


Glencore International[edit]

Glasenberg joined Glencore in 1984,[4] working in the coal department in South Africa[5] and Australia.[4] He managed Glencore's Hong Kong and Beijing offices from 1989 to 1990, and became head of the company's coal department in 1991.[6] He was named CEO in 2002.

In 2005, BusinessWeek referred to Glasenberg as a key figure in the secretive commodities trading of Marc Rich's company Mark Rich & Co. AG.[7] Rich was a billionaire commodities trader, who was charged with tax evasion and illegal deals with Iran, but later pardoned by US President Bill Clinton.[8] Glencore is the corporate successor to Marc Rich & Co AG.[9]

In September 2011, using his own dividends, Glasenberg started buying a larger share of Glencore, buying up to an additional US$54 million of Glencore stock.[10] In April 2012 it was reported that Glasenberg held more than 15 per cent of Glencore's stock, placing him as the 20th richest mining billionaire, with Forbes estimating his net worth at US$7.3 billion.[11]

In December 2020, Glasenberg announced that he will be retiring in 2021 thus stepping out of the CEO position after nearly 20 years. He was succeeded by fellow South African Gary Nagle, who was running the firm's coal business.[12][13][14]

Glencore Xstrata[edit]

Glasenberg became CEO of the merged entity created when Glencore and Xstrata finalised one of the largest mining company mergers in history creating an US$88 billion company.[15] Originally Xstrata CEO Mick Davis was to be CEO while Glasenberg would be President in a merger-of-equals transaction, however, due to holding out of major Xstrata shareholder Qatar, it became a takeover target,[16] with a 3.05 Glencore to 1 Xstrata Share exchange to create the new entity Glencore Xstrata with Glasenberg becoming CEO. Davis left the company in July 2013.[17]

Glasenberg has served an executive director of Xstrata Plc (since 2002); and as a non-executive director of Minara Resources Ltd (since 2000); of Rusal Plc (since 2007); and Century Aluminum Co. (between 2010–2011).[4]

Personal life[edit]

Glasenberg has been a champion race-walker for both South Africa and Israel,[5] and runs and swims daily to maintain his fitness.[18] He is married with two children, and a resident of the village of Rüschlikon in Switzerland.[11][19] Glasenberg paid 360 million SFr (£240m) in taxes to Rüschlikon following Glencore's flotation on the London Stock Exchange. The money enabled the residents to cut their taxation rate by 7%, which was approved by large majority after a public vote, and attracted criticism from some villagers about Glencore's alleged controversial business practices.[19]

As of 2023, his net worth was assessed at US$8.8 billion by Forbes;[20] and at A$13.6 billion in the Australian Financial Review 2023 Rich List.[21]


  1. ^ a b Cobain, Ian (19 May 2011). "The rise of Glencore, the biggest company you've never heard of". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 19 May 2011.
  2. ^ Glasenberg, Ivan (5 May 2013). "Letztlich macht es keine Differenz, ob Ihr Vermögen eine Milliarde beträgt oder sechs". SonntagsZeitung (Interview) (in German). Interviewed by Martin Spieler. Archived from the original on 6 May 2013. Retrieved 30 September 2019.
  3. ^ Jerusalem Post: "The billionaire would-be oleh" by NADAV SHEMER 6 May 2011
  4. ^ a b c d "Executive Profile: Ivan Glasenberg B.Acc, MBA (USC), CASA". Bloomberg BusinessWeek. Retrieved 1 March 2011.[dead link]
  5. ^ a b c Onstad, Eric; MacInnis, Laura; Webb, Quentin (25 February 2011). "Special report: The biggest company you never heard of". Reuters. Reuters. Retrieved 28 February 2011.
  6. ^ "People records: Ivan Glasenberg". AfdevInfo. information systems in Africa. 16 March 2007. Archived from the original on 26 May 2012. Retrieved 3 June 2012.
  7. ^ Pidd, Helen (in Zurich); Glaister, Dan (in Los Angeles); Smith, David (in Johannesburg); Cobain, Ian (in London) (20 May 2011). "The rise of Glencore, the biggest company you've never heard of". The Guardian. United Kingdom. Retrieved 23 June 2017.
  8. ^ Ammann, Daniel (2009). The King of Oil: The Secret Lives of Marc Rich. New York: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 978-0-312-57074-3.
  9. ^ Vickers, Marcia (18 July 2005). "The Rich Boys". BusinessWeek. Archived from the original on 13 July 2005. Retrieved 2 June 2012.
  10. ^ Ferreira-Marques, Clara (16 September 2011). "Glencore boss Glasenberg buys shares, eyes more". Reuters. United States. Retrieved 2 June 2012.
  11. ^ a b Els, Frik (15 April 2012). "2012 Mining Billionaires: #20 Ivan Glasenberg, #21 Nicky Oppenheimer and family, #22 Beny Steinmetz". Mining.com. InfoMine. Retrieved 3 June 2012.
  12. ^ Neil Hume; David Sheppard (4 December 2020). "Ivan Glasenberg to step down as Glencore chief". Financial Times. Retrieved 6 December 2020.
  13. ^ Wallace, Joe; Patterson, Scott (4 December 2020). "Glencore CEO Ivan Glasenberg to Retire After 18 Years at the Helm". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 20 December 2020.
  14. ^ Biesheuvel, Thomas (5 December 2020). "Billionaire Glasenberg's Reign Spanned IPO Glory to Graft Probes". Bloomberg. Retrieved 20 December 2020.
  15. ^ Wall Street Journal: Glencore-Xstrata Merger Complete. 2 May 2013.
  16. ^ "Qatar backing puts Glencore's Xstrata deal on track". Reuters. 15 November 2012.
  17. ^ Seccombe, Allan (17 April 2013). "Davis to get 4.6m payout as-Xstrata deal is approved". Business Day. Press Reader. Retrieved 23 June 2017.
  18. ^ Onstad, Eric; Howley, Victoria; Ferreira-Marques, Clara (2 February 2012). "Fiery CEOs may clash in Glencore-Xstrata talks". Reuters. United States. Retrieved 3 June 2012.
  19. ^ a b Rupert Neate (2 December 2012). "Ivan Glasenberg's neighbours rest uneasily with Glencore tax windfall". The Guardian. London.
  20. ^ "Ivan Glasenberg". Forbes. Retrieved 12 August 2022.
  21. ^ Bailey, Michael; Sprague, Julie-anne (26 May 2023). "The 200 richest people in Australia revealed". Australian Financial Review. Retrieved 6 June 2023.

Further reading[edit]