Ivan Glasenberg, a South African businessman and former CEO of Glencore, one of the biggest commodity trading and mining businesses in the world, was born on January 7, 1957. From 2002 until 2021, he served as the business's CEO. Glasenberg currently holds dual citizenship with Australia and South Africa. In 2011, he attained Swiss nationality. He serves on the board of directors for the mining firm Minara Resources Ltd.
Glasenberg was born to a Jewish household on January 7, 1957, in South Africa. His mother, Blanche Vilensky, was from South Africa, while his father, Samuel Glasenberg, was "a luggage manufacturer and importer born in Lithuania." The family resided in Illovo, a Johannesburg suburb. In his early 20s, Glasenberg, an athlete, had won the national junior race walking championship. In 1984, Ivan wed Elana Beverley Orelowitz. Glasenberg and Mick Davis, who would go on to lead the mining company Xstrata, were close friends in their teens.
Glasenberg earned his bachelor's degrees in accounting and business from the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa. Glasenberg is a South African chartered accountant who worked for five years with the chartered accounting firm Nexia Levitt Kirson. In 1983, he graduated with an MBA from the University of Southern California's IBEAR programme.
In South Africa and Australia, Glasenberg worked in the coal division before joining Glencore in 1984. From 1989 to 1990, he oversaw Glencore's offices in Beijing and Hong Kong. In 1991, he was named chairman of the organization's coal division. In 2002, he was named CEO. Glasenberg was identified by BusinessWeek in 2005 as a significant player in the clandestine commodity trading of Marc Rich's business, Mark Rich & Co. AG. Rich, a multibillionaire commodities trader, was later pardoned by US President Bill Clinton after being accused of tax fraud and engaging in unlawful business with Iran. Marc Rich & Co. AG's corporate heir is Glencore.
When Glencore and Xstrata completed one of the largest mining company mergers in history, establishing a US$88 billion business, Glasenberg was appointed CEO of the new company. Originally, Glasenberg would have been President and Xstrata CEO Mick Davis would have been CEO in a merger-of-equals transaction; however, due to Qatar, a major Xstrata shareholder, refusing to participate, it turned into a takeover target. Glasenberg would have been CEO of the new company, Glencore Xstrata, which would have been formed by exchanging 3.05 Glencore shares for each Xstrata share. In July 2013, Davis quit the organisation.
Glasenberg has won race-walking championships for Israel and South Africa, and he regularly works out by running and swimming. He lives in the Swiss hamlet of Rüschlikon, is married, and has two kids. Glasenberg paid 360 million SFr in taxes to Rüschlikon following Glencore's listing on the London Stock Exchange. After a public vote, the residents' tax rate was reduced by 7%, which was supported by a huge majority of the villagers but drew criticism from some of the villagers for what they perceived to be Glencore's questionable business practises. His net worth as of 2023 was estimated by Forbes to be US$8.8 billion and by the Australian Financial Review to be A$13.6 billion.