Follow the leaders: This week’s executive appointments

Keep up with the latest executive movements across the mining sector, including at Glencore, Rio Tinto, AngloGold Ashanti and more

Glencore has appointed Kalidas Madhavpeddi as its new chairman from July 30, 2021, following the resignation of current chairman Tony Hayward.

Madhavpeddi joined Glencore’s board in February 2020 and brings more than 40 years’ experience in the mining industry.

He is currently non-executive director of Novagold Resources, Trilogy Metals and Dundee Precious Metals.

“I am delighted to have been appointed chairman at such an exciting time for the business,” Madhavpeddi said.

“As the world transitions to cleaner forms of energy and mobility, our portfolio of commodities will allow Glencore to play a key role in helping us achieve the goals of Paris and play a key role in the ongoing energy and mobility transition.

“On behalf of the board, I would like to thank Tony for his leadership over the last eight years, especially with regard to the group’s progress on ESG (environmental social governance) matters and in particular Glencore’s climate strategy. We wish him all the best for the future.”


Rio Tinto has hired Isabelle Deschamps as the company’s new chief legal and external affairs officer.

Deschamps currently works as general counsel of AkzoNobel and a member of the executive committee.

She will succeed current chief legal and external affairs officer Barbara Levi from October 25, 2021.

“Isabelle brings a wealth and diversity of legal experience having worked in various senior legal roles for a number of large multinational companies,” Rio Tinto chief executive Jakob Stausholm said.

“I am delighted to welcome her to Rio Tinto and look forward to having her join the executive team and lead our legal, compliance and external affairs teams.”


AngloGold Ashanti has announced Alberto Calderon will take over as chief executive officer of the company from September 1, 2021.

Interim chief executive officer Christine Ramon will resume her role as chief financial officer once Calderon starts his role.

Calderon brings more than two decades of executive leadership experience to AngloGold Ashanti.

He was chief executive officer of Orica until March this year and was previously a senior executive of BHP and chief executive officer of Cerrejón.

AngloGold Ashanti chairman Maria Ramos welcomed Calderon to the role.

“We are confident that, in Alberto, we have the right person to lead this company forward and realise its outstanding potential, drawing on his huge leadership experience in the resources sector across a variety of geographies,” Ramos said.

“On behalf of the Board and the company, I would like to extend my gratitude to Christine for her tireless commitment through a particularly tumultuous period globally.

“Her leadership was critical in coordinating an effective response to the pandemic, keeping the company focused on our strategy and maintaining a strong financial position.”


Maxmine has appointed former BHP global strategy lead Coert Du Plessis as chief executive officer of mining technology business

Du Plessis was previously chief operating officer of MaxMine from May 1, 2020, and listed three reasons for why he moved from BHP to Maxmine.

“One, the calibre of the existing leadership team and their adaptive business mindset; demonstrated in successfully raising growth capital in a year disrupted by COVID,” he said.

“Two, generating industry leading data quality and confidence in their results, an order of magnitude better than incumbent FMS. It means MaxMine users transition from teams arguing about the validity of data to knowing what needs to be done next.

“Three, the ability to drive technology adoption with front line operators and operational leadership teams month in and month out, delivering on average 5 per cent load and haul productivity improvements.”

The company offers the Maxmine business reporting tool that uses data acquisition technology with artificial intelligence to optimise mobile equipment and operator performance within mining.


Northern Star Resources has hired Nickolas Strong as general manager – KCGM (Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines) from July 1, 2021.

Strong has previous experience as chief advisor and general manager in Rio Tinto’s underground divisions and also worked at Newcrest for 13 years.

Strong will replace KCGM general manager Kous Kristen who will take up the role of executive general manager – Kalgoorlie operations at Northern Star.

Northern Star Kalgoorlie operations chief operating officer Simon Jessop welcomed Strong to the role.

“Northern Star undertook an extensive search for this role and being able to attract someone of Nick’s calibre is a testament to the great opportunity we have as a business and in particular at KCGM,” Jessop said.

“I look forward to Nick taking KCGM to the next level of success.

“I would also like to acknowledge Kous’ leadership as general manager over the past 18 months in reshaping KCGM and achieving some outstanding success in a very short time.”


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