Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto will be under new leadership this summer, as current CEO Sam Walsh will step down on July 1. Rio’s copper and coal leader Jean-Sébastien Jacques is slated to step into the vacated position after a period as deputy CEO, beginning today.
Before running Rio Tinto’s copper and coal, Jacques worked for a decade and a half in several positions all over the world in the bauxite, aluminium, and steel trade.
“Jean-Sébastien is a very experienced executive with a demonstrated track record and brings a unique blend of strategic and operational expertise,” said Rio Tinto chairman Jan du Plessis. “He has run complex operations and projects across five commodities and five continents. J-S is a highly-regarded leader who shares Rio Tinto’s strong values and has embraced its culture.
“Today’s announcement is the culmination of a comprehensive and deliberate executive succession process. The board has decided that J-S is the right person to lead Rio Tinto in an increasingly complex world filled with both challenges and opportunities for our industry.”
“Rio Tinto is a world-class company with some of the best tier one assets and people in the industry,” said Jean-Sébastien Jacques. “It is an honor 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.”
“I have been seriously fortunate to lead one of the world’s best companies,” opined Sam Walsh. “After 25 great and enjoyable years with Rio Tinto, now is the right time to pass the reins on to Jean-Sébastien. In his time at Rio Tinto, J-S has proven to be a standout performer as a leader in our business.
“I am very proud to have played my part, together with all of our employees around the world, in returning Rio Tinto to a position of industry leadership and strength. I have always wanted to make a difference and I believe we have achieved that. I look forward to working with J-S, the board and executive team during the transition.”