Elizabeth Gaines ranks second in global businessperson list

Elizabeth Gaines. Image: Fortescue Metals Group.

Fortescue Metals Group chief executive officer Elizabeth Gaines has finished second in Fortune magazine’s 2019 Businessperson of the Year race.

Gaines was the only Australian and mining boss to finish in the top 20, which was filled with some of the world’s most accomplished businesspeople.

She joined the company in 2013 as a non-executive director and rose through the ranks, becoming chief financial officer and executive director in 2017, before being named CEO in 2018.

Gaines comes from a diverse work background, as a former CEO of travel company Helloworld and Heytesbury cattle, as well as other management roles in the resources, construction and infrastructure, financial and hospitality sectors.

Her experience as a business leader however, made her take to her leadership role in the mining industry with expertise.

Fortune magazine noted Fortescue’s total return delivery of 90 per cent since Gaines took the reins at the company, versus just 5 per cent for the wider ASX 200.

It also attributed Gaines for pushing the company’s value out to around $20 billion and for finishing her first full financial year in charge of the company with a record $3.2 billion profit.

Gaines was also named on Fortune’s 2018 Most Powerful Women list, in 35th spot.

This year, she was pipped to the post for title of the world’s top businessperson by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Chipotle Mexican grill boss Brian Niccol rounded out the top three.

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