Jakob Stausholm, who joined the Anglo Australian mining giant in 2018 from shipping company AP Moller-Maersk, will formally take up the position on 1 January 2021
Rio Tinto has appointed its head of finance Jakob Stausholm as the company’s new chief executive.
Stausholm, who joined the Anglo Australian mining giant in 2018 from shipping company AP Moller-Maersk, will formally take up the position on 1 January 2021.
The Danish national will replace outgoing Rio boss Jean-Sébastien Jacques, who announced he was stepping down in September amid the fallout from the company’s destruction of the Juukan Gorge aboriginal heritage site in Western Australia.
Stausholm said: “I am truly delighted and humbled to be given the opportunity to lead this tremendous company. Since I joined two years ago, I have spent extensive time at our operations, meeting our excellent people and have also engaged with many of our valued partners.
“Rio Tinto’s purpose is to produce the materials essential to human progress and I remain deeply committed to this after the difficult times we have faced during 2020.
“I look forward to leading Rio Tinto and working with my colleagues across the business to ensure that we maintain strong safety, operational and financial performance, while progressing our growth, sustainability and technology strategies.”
The new CEO said he is also “acutely aware” of the need to restore trust with Traditional Owners as well as the miner’s other stakeholders and added that it is an area he views as a “key priority” for the company.
New Rio Tinto chief executive has played a “leading role” in company’s strong performance
Rio said Stausholm has played a “leading role” in the firm’s strong performance, maintaining capital allocation discipline and delivering significant shareholder returns, while strengthening the balance sheet.
The Dane previously spent 20 years working in a number of roles at oil major Royal Dutch Shell and was also chief financial officer of the global facility services provider ISS.
Rio chairman Simon Thompson said: “I am pleased to announce the appointment of Jakob as chief executive of Rio Tinto. His blend of strategic and commercial expertise, strong values and a collaborative leadership style are the ideal qualities for our next chief executive.
“Jakob has already made a significant contribution to the performance of the Group in his role as chief financial officer. He has a proven track record as a senior executive with deep industrial and resources experience spanning strategy development and technology, as well as financial and risk management.
“He has also demonstrated the ability to build effective relationships and has a strong personal commitment to the role of business in promoting sustainable development.”
As a result of Stausholm’s appointment, Peter Cunningham will be appointed interim chief financial officer of Rio, effective 1 January 2021.
Meanwhile, Jean-Sébastien Jacques will step down from his role as an executive director and CEO of Rio with effect from the start of 2021 and will leave the company on 31 March.