Fortescue names female CEO Gaines to replace Power

Elizabeth Gaines. Image: Fortescue Metals Group

Elizabeth Gaines will replace Nev Power as Fortescue Metals Group’s chief executive officer, the iron ore miner announced today.

Gaines, who is currently Fortescue’s chief financial officer, will become the third CEO in the iron ore miner’s history and its first female in the role.

Fortescue expects the transition to a new leadership team will be completed in early 2018. The company announced in September that Power would step down as CEO by February next year.

CEO-elect Gaines said she was both privileged and humbled to be chosen as Fortescue’s third CEO, and was excited to take the company through its next stages.

“Fortescue is a unique company and a feature of our success is the strong relationship between the chairman and CEO,” Gaines said.

“I embrace the culture and values that truly set this company apart and I look forward to working with Andrew, the board and the newly appointed leadership team of talented individuals to continue to deliver success and value for our shareholders.”

Gaines started as Fortescue’s CFO in February after already being a non-executive director at the company. She is also on the board of Tourism WA.

Fortescue chairman Andrew Forrest said Gaines would lead an organisation where every person seeks advice from their immediate principal as opposed to an industry accepted management method of unilateral authority.

“It will take considerable perseverance and determined leadership to differentiate Fortescue from the more typical command and control environment in the resources sector,” Forrest said.

“At Fortescue, every person in the organisation must live responsibly the decisions they make on behalf of the company, through the culture of Fortescue.

“Elizabeth has shown strong aptitude to encourage her colleagues and sleet recognition to them while actively supporting all those around her to be as successful as possible.”

Gaines is the former CEO of Helloworld. Prior to that, she was chief operating officer and CFO of Helloworld, CFO of Stella Group, chief finance and operations director of Entertainment Rights in the United Kingdom and CEO of Heytesbury.

Fortescue has made several changes to its leadership team to support the appointment of Gaines, with Ian Wells to take over as CFO, moving from his role as corporate finance group manager.

Julie Shuttleworth will be appointed deputy CEO, having most recently held the position of general manager of Fortescue’s Solomon operations. Greg Lilleyman will be appointed as chief operating officer, having most recently been operations director.

To keep up to date with Australian Mining, subscribe to our free email newsletters delivered straight to your inbox. Click here.