Rio Tinto announces board changes, Anglo American poaches Rio exec

Rio Tinto has brought in two new non-executive directors, and seen its Americas general manager move to Anglo American.

Anne Lauvergeon and Simon Thompson will join Rio’s board and become members of its Sustainability and Nominations Committees.

Lauvergeon will step into the role on March 15th. She has worked in the steel industry and was previously CEO of French energy group AREVA, as well as the French president’s deputy chief of staff.

Thompson will join 1 April. He previously worked in banking, and was an executive director of Anglo American, until he retired form the position in 2007.

Current non-executive direct Vivienne Cox will step down from Rio’s board in April.

Tinto chairman Jan du Plessis said he is “delighted to welcome Anne Lauvergeon
and Simon Thompson to the Rio Tinto boards. They boast impressive track records
as executives across multiple industries, in addition to which both bring a
wealth of experience as non-executive directors of a number of leading
international businesses.”

du Plessis went on to say it is “making good progress in identifying another Australian to joint the boards as a non-executive”.

In the midst of these changes at the top, Rio Tinto’s regional general manager innovation and technology for the Americas, Themba Mkhwanazi has left Rio to step into a role as Anglo American’s head of its South African coal businesses.

Anglo’s head of coal, Seamus French, said he is “delighted to appoint Themba Mkhwanazi to lead our coal business in South Africa”.

“Themba brings extensive international operating experience gained across his two decades in the resources industry, including 16 years in South Africa and more recently in the USA. Themba’s leadership and technical expertise will be instrumental in helping us deliver the full potential from our consolidated global coal business.”

Anglo American’s CEO Mark Cutifani added welcomed Mkhwanazi, and farewelled outgoing head of SA coal, Godfrey Gomwe, stating that “Gomwe has made an invaluable contribution to Anglo American throughout his 15 years with the Group in a number of senior executive positions. Godfrey’s commercial experience and collaborative approach to engagement has strengthened our business in South Africa and we thank him for his support in integrating our global coal interests in recent months”.

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