Noble appoints head of hard commodities

6 February 2012

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6 February 2012 | Adam Leach

The man who established the supply chain management side of Noble Group's coal business has been appointed as head of hard commodities and given a seat on the board.

As of today, William Randall is responsible for the commodity giant’s hard energy, metals, minerals and ores businesses. His most recent position at the company was as head of energy coal and carbon complex. Having started his career at the group in 1999, Randall was responsible for setting up coal supply chain management in Asia in 1999.

In the board-level position, Randall will report directly to the newly appointed CEO Yusuf Alireza when he starts in April. Alireza’s appointment follows the departure of Ricardo Leiman in November after the company reported its first quarterly loss in 14 years. Alireza joins the company from Goldman Sachs, where he was co-president of Asia and a member of the global management committee.

Richard Elman, chairman of Noble Group and acting CEO since the departure of Leiman, said: “These appointments are part of Noble’s succession planning and further strengthen our leadership as I prepare to reduce my day-to-day involvement. As a major shareholder myself and with my detailed knowledge of their abilities, I am more than happy to be handing over to such competent and world-class colleagues.”

Last year, the company cited volatile prices and disruptive supplier behaviour as key causes of it reporting its first loss in well over a decade. The global commodities trading house, which purchases and sells a range of commodities including cotton, cocoa and iron, often through futures trading contracts, was hit particularly hard by severe volatility in the cotton market.

It said it was forced to buy supplies at high spot prices in order to meet demand after a “systematic default” on contracts by cotton farmers looking to capitalise on high prices.


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