Lonrho was founded in 1909 as the London and Rhodesian Mining and Land Company. A major international conglomerate, the company – with over 800 subsidiaries in 80 countries by the late twentieth century – attracted controversy for its activities in the African continent and for the temperament of its chief executive (from 1962 to 1994) Roland ‘Tiny’ Rowland. In a 1998 ‘demerger’, the company’s mining division was reconstituted as the independent Lonmin, while all non-mining African assets retained the name Lonrho plc.