An amazing article appeared in the Business Day on the 8th July 2009. It was a Business Day interview with the former Anglo American deputy chairman, Graham Boustred, 84. It was an interview at his request in order for him to share his views on the current state of Anglo American. What follows has one suspiciously looking for the candid camera equivalent of the print media! Boustred states that Xstrata’s proposed bid for Anglo American is simply a mechanism for getting rid of current Anglo CEO, Cynthia Caroll who he goes on to describe as “hopeless”and implies that she is sexually frustrated. The then illuminates why it is difficult to find a female CEO: “It is because most women are sexually frustrated. men are not, because they can fall back on call girls, go to erectile dysfunction clinics. If you have a CEO who is sexually frustrated she can’t act properly”.
Boustred talks about the possibility of having an exit strtaegy should the wheels come off in South Africa. His prefered safe haven? The Isle of Man. His reason being that on the Isle of Man “there are no Muslims, no blacks”. There were compelling other reasons such as a good health care system but these are all too sane to be taken seriously.
The tone of Boustred’s ranting as reported is self-centred, arrogant, dogmatic, bigited and plain insulting. He represents a perplexing case study in past leaders grown old and begs the question of just how much of the present characteristics and opinions were in evidence during his leadership reign? He is aptly described in the interview as an “old man of South African business” where his world is “an anachronism that is growing smaller all the time”.
Oh yes, and the answer to Anglo’s current “disaster”? Well, for Boustred to return of course! reading to full article will have you queing to help the pensioner pack.