- AngloGold Ashanti
- Year of birth: 1965
- Last known country of residence: South Africa
Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan (Venkat) is and Indian business professional and the chief executive officer of AngloGold Ashanti – the third biggest gold producer in the world. Venkat is known as one of several India-born chief executives of Fortune 500 companies.
Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan was born in 1965 in Chennai, the capital of the state of Tamil Nadu in India. Chennai is known as the gateway to the South of India and as India’s ‘health capital’. Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan is known as Venkat to colleagues, friends and family.
Early Life and Education
After completing his high school education, Venkat enrolled at the University of Madras where he started studying accountancy in 1983. He graduated in 1986 with a B.com degree and achieved the required qualifications to become a chartered accountant. Venkat also holds an Associate Chartered Accountant degree from Universidad Pontificia Comillas de Madrid.
Venkat launched his career and started working at Deloitte in London in the United Kingdom as a member of the corporate recovery team. In interviews Venkat has stated that he was interested in this role specifically because he wanted to have first-hand experience of the industry on the ground, and not just from a corporate point of view. He held several roles at Deloitte before being appointed as the director of the corporate restructuring group. One of Venkat’s responsibilities in this role was to help restructure Ashanti Goldfields – a gold mine based in Ghana known as being the first African company listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
Entering Into the Mining Industry
The responsibility of restructuring Ashanti Goldfields led to Venkat entering into the challenging mining industry when he was retained as finance director of the company. During this time he was commuting between his work in Ghana and his family in London. In 2004 Ashanti Goldfields merged with AngloGold becoming AngloGold Ashanti, and in July that year Venkat was offered the position of deputy chief financial officer. He accepted the role and held it until August 2005 when he was promoted to being the chief financial officer of the company. Venkat spent several years in this position until stepping down in December 2012. In May the following year Venkat took on his most challenging role to date when he replaced Mark Cutifani as chief executive officer of AngoGold Ashanti.
Since Venkat’s appointment as CFO of AngloGold Ashanti, the company has achieved unprecedented success including brining two mines into successful production, reducing operational and overhead expenses by almost 50% and cutting debt levels by a third through funds that were generated internally - this in spite of the sharp drop in the price of gold. Under the guidance of Venkat the company has also increased focus on creating sustainable returns, freeing cash flow and greatly improving safety.
Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan is married and has two sons. In his spare time Venkat is interested in watching selected TV programs. He also likes going to the cinema to watch Bollywood movies and his favourite sport is cricket. As a vegetarian and food lover, Venkat particularly enjoys exploring Indian cuisine.