End of an era for Fortescue as Gaines steps down

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Elizabeth Gaines. Image: Fortescue Metals Group.

Fortescue Metals Group has announced Elizabeth Gaines will transition away from her role as chief executive officer into a non-executive director of Fortescue’s board and as the company’s global green hydrogen brand ambassador.

Gaines has been a member of the Fortescue board for nine years, and along with chairman Andrew Forrest, has led the company’s operational pioneering in autonomy, advanced technology, sophisticated major project development and operations.

“Elizabeth is one of Australia’s truly inspiring leaders. We are grateful that she has accepted the critical role of ensuring the world understands that green hydrogen, green ammonia, green energy and all its products, are combined, the only practical implementable solution to global warming that can be delivered on a commercial, highly sustainable basis,” Forrest said.

Gaines will assist the selection of a new CEO to lead the development of the diversified renewables and resources group.

The Board of Directors has started an extensive global search, appointing Egon Zehnder, to identify a CEO and other leaders with exceptional skills and global experience across heavy industry, manufacturing, and renewable energy.

“The search with Elizabeth, for a CEO and an even deeper management bench, is an enormous opportunity for a talented and visionary executive team, to continue the successful leadership of Fortescue, as we deliver on our strategy to diversify Fortescue to a renewable energy and resources company,” Forrest said.

The successful candidates will share Fortescue’s culture and values to assist the company as it delivers on its vision of moving from a pure-play iron ore producer to diversified renewable energy and resources major.

“I know that the successful candidate will be able to build on our excellent operational performance and lead the diversification of Fortescue from a pure-play iron ore producer to a renewable energy and resources company,” Gaines said.

“The opportunity to continue to contribute to Fortescue and serve our shareholders is a unique privilege and I look forward to building on my nine years with Fortescue which, since 2013, has seen me serve as a non-executive director, chief financial officer and CEO.

“My heartfelt thanks to everyone at Fortescue for their support of me during my time as CEO and I look forward to ensuring a successful handover to the Board’s appointed successor and continuing as CEO until I subsequently transition to the non-executive director role.”

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