Why Values Guide You In A Crisis


Cynthia Carroll’s helicopter had just landed in Johannesburg on June 27, 2007, when she got the news. Carroll was the newly-appointed CEO of Anglo American PLC, the fourth-largest mining company in the world by market capitalization. She was the first outsider to be the CEO of Anglo American, and the first woman ever to be the CEO of a major mining company. When she landed, however, Ralph Havenstein, the chief executive of Anglo American Platinum, told her that a worker had been killed in Anglo’s Rustenburg mine.

This was the fifth death in Rustenburg in the last few weeks, and the 29th death in Anglo American facilities that year. The company had averaged 46 deaths a year the past five years, but its safety record was improving and was comparable to or better than that of its competitors in Africa. But Carroll had pledged herself and the company to “Zero Harm” when she first became CEO, and she was outraged that any of her people would die on her watch. Now she had to decide what to do.

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