Miner Anglo American said on Friday Chief Executive Cynthia Carroll has decided to step down from her post with the board's agreement.
The firm said Carroll will remain in her post until a successor has been appointed and an appropriate transition has taken place.
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Carroll, CEO since 2007, said "next year I will be entering my seventh year as CEO and I feel that the time will be right to hand over to a successor."
On Thursday Anglo posted increased production in five of its seven key commodities including copper, as it braces for the full impact of crippling South African strikes that have ratcheted up pressure on the management team.
(Reporting by James Davey; editing by Sarah Young)