Former Shell boss Sir Mark Moody-Stuart is set to succeed Julian Ogilvie Thompson as chairman of Anglo American.
Sir Mark has joined the mining group's board as a director, and will take over as chairman when Mr Thompson retires at the end of November.
Goran Lindahl, non-executive director and former boss of engineering firm ABB, was appointed deputy chairman and chairman-designate last September.
He was due to take over in May, but stepped down in March after reports questioned the size of his ABB severance package and pension.
Mr Ogilvie Thompson postponed his retirement while a replacement was found.
Sir Mark was chairman of Shell's committee of managing directors from 1998 to 2001, and is often credited with overhauling the group's image after a bout of bad press - such as over the company's role in Nigeria.
He also chairs the Business Action for Sustainable Development, a group set up to represent business at the forthcoming World Summit in Johannesburg, and sits on the UN Secretary General's Advisory Council for the Global Compact.
Sir Mark, who is 61 and was born in Antigua, says: "Anglo American has undergone a remarkable transformation in recent years as it has become a truly global player.
"I look forward to participating in the process of building on the strong South African base while growing the business around the world."
A spokeswoman says Sir Mark will be paid in line with other non-executive directors, but refused to divulge details