Glencore's Ivan Glasenberg Might Be The Least-Fun CEO Of All Time

05/03/2013 04:06 pm ET | Updated May 03, 2013
  • Harry Bradford Associate Editor, HuffPost Business and HuffPost Small Business

He hates beaches, loathes celebrations, detests family time and works in mining.

Nope, we’re not talking about Grumpy of the Seven Dwarves. We're actually describing Ivan Glasenberg, CEO of commodities trading giant Glencore.

The South African-born executive frankly described Glencore's high-pressure working environment during an interview with the Wall Street Journal in an effort to impress investors. He described a potential shareholder's dream with no discernible work-life balance (“We work. You don’t come here to take life easy”), a moratorium on seaside leisure (“No beaches”) and champagne consumption prohibited (“Not one glass”).

Some employees, however, may soon have more "time with the family" on their hands. During a portion of the interview published separately by the WSJ, the CEO said that he planned to let go “a big amount” of Xstrata’s newly acquired middle managers, describing layoffs that were “going to be big.”

He’s not the only CEO to tighten up on work-life balance while simultaneously letting employees go. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer faced criticism for forbidding employees to work from home shortly before announcing big cuts to her workforce.

Shockingly, Glasenberg’s actions have actually won him praise among peers who “seek to emulate” the firm's culture of despair, Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts Jason Fairclough and Peter O’Connor wrote, according to Bloomberg.

One area where Glasenberg does get soft however, is on worker mobility, noting that blue collar miners can work their way up to earning the eight-figure salaries enjoyed by his squadron of commodities traders. Just try him.

“You want to be a trader, come be a trader,” he told Wall Street Journal. “You want to travel six days a week, you want to travel the world, the door’s open. I earn more than you. Come be a trader. Please, the door’s open.”

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