PEOPLE MOVES: Rio Tinto appoints Simon Thompson as chairman

Rio Tinto has appointed Simon Thompson as chairman, the company announced on Monday December 4.

Thompson, who joined the Rio Tinto board as a non-executive director in 2014, will become chairman on March 5, 2018. He succeeds Jan du Plessis, who will step down as chairman and from the Rio Tinto board on the same date after serving almost nine years as chairman.

Thompson has over 20 years’ experience working across five continents in the mining and metals industry. From 1995 to 2007, he worked for the Anglo American group, holding a number of senior positions, including executive director of Anglo American plc, chief executive of the base metals division, chairman of the exploration division, and chairman of tarmac.

His experience as a non-executive director includes serving on the boards of AngloGold Ashanti, Rusal and Newmont Mining Corp.

“The board is delighted to have appointed Simon to chair Rio Tinto. He brings to the role a deep understanding of the mining industry, as well as a strong track record as a non-executive,” Rio Tinto senior independent director Ann Godbehere said.

Upon assuming the role of chairman, Thompson will step down as chairman of the Rio Tinto remuneration committee and will also cease to be a member of the audit committee.

Sam Laidlaw, who previously chaired the remuneration committee at HSBC Holdings plc, will succeed Thompson as chair of the Rio Tinto remuneration committee effective March 5, 2018.