Australia-based miner Rio Tinto named Jean-Sébastien Jacques as its new chief executive beginning July 2016. Jacques is taking the place of company chief executive Sam Walsh, who’s retiring from the business.
Jacques recently joined Rio Tinto’s board as deputy chief executive to ensure a smooth transition.
Commenting on his appointment, Jacques said: “Rio Tinto is a world-class company with some of the best tier-one assets and people in the industry. It is an honour and a great privilege to be given the opportunity to lead the company as we continue to develop the business and pursue the delivery of value for shareholders.”
“The safety of all of our people across the world will remain a key focus and, together with Sam, I will take every opportunity over the next few months, to meet and listen to our shareholders, customers, employees and stakeholders, all of whom play an integral role in making this great company so successful,” he continued.
Jacques was Rio Tinto’s former Copper & Coal chief executive. According to the company, he has delivered a step-change in both safety and cash performance while significantly reducing costs. Prior to joining Rio Tinto, he worked for more than 15 years across Europe, Southeast Asia, India and the US in a wide range of operational and functional positions in the aluminium, bauxite and steel industries. He served as group strategy director for Tata Steel Group from 2007 to 2011.
Jan du Plessis, Rio Tinto chairman, said: “Jean-Sébastien is a very experienced executive with a demonstrated track record and brings a unique blend of strategic and operational expertise. He has run complex operations and projects across five commodities and five continents. He is a highly regarded leader who shares Rio Tinto’s strong values and has embraced its culture.”