The announcement of the move came on October 26, 2012, following complaints from the group's shareholders about a sharp drop in profits.
The chief executive have been under increasing pressure from investors not only over the company's share price but also deteriorating industrial relations at its operations in South Africa caused by numerous miners strikes.
Carroll, the first woman and the first non-South African to be appointed in the role of the company's chief executive, reportedly made the decision to leave alone, despite the difficulty in taking the step.
"Next year I will be entering my seventh year as chief executive and I feel that the time will be right to hand over to a successor who can build further on the strong foundations we have created," Carroll commented on the move." I am extremely proud of everything we have achieved during my period," she added.
Carroll's departure will leave just two women running the biggest UK-listed companies, including Angela Ahrendts at Burberry and Alison Cooper of Imperial Tobacco.
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