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Rio Tinto Appoints Jakob Stausholm As CEO After Aboriginal Cave Blast Crisis

Rio Tinto Plc (RTPPF.PK,RIO.L,RIO,RTNTF.PK) said Thursday that it has appointed Jakob Stausholm as chief executive officer, effective 1 January 2021.

The Anglo-Australian mining giant said that J-S Jacques will step down from his role as an executive director and chief executive of the company effective from 1 January 2021 and will leave the Group on 31 March 2021.

Stausholm joined Rio Tinto as an executive director and chief financial officer in 2018. Before joining to Rio Tinto, he was Group Chief Financial Officer and Strategy & Transformation Officer of A.P. Moeller - Maersk A/S.

Meanwhile, Rio Tinto has appointed Peter Cunningham as interim chief financial officer, effective 1 January 2021. Peter was previously Group Controller for Rio Tinto and has held a number of senior finance and leadership roles across Rio Tinto in a career spanning 27 years with the company.

Rio Tinto said in September that its chief executive officer J-S Jacques and two other executives would step down following criticism of the company's destruction of two ancient rock shelters in Western Australia.

Rio detonated explosives in May in an area of the Juukan Gorge, destroying the 46,000-year-old Aboriginal heritage site in Western Australia.

The company went ahead with blowing up the ancient rock shelters despite the opposition of Aboriginal traditional owners.

It had sparked widespread condemnation from shareholders, traditional owners and others.

Rio Tinto said in September that Jacques would remain as the chief executive officer until 31 March 2021 or the appointment of his successor.

Chris Salisbury would step down as chief executive, Iron Ore with immediate effect and would leave the company on 31 December 2020. Ivan Vella, currently Managing Director for Rail, Port & Core Services within Rio Tinto Iron Ore, would replace him on an interim basis, following a handover period with Chris.

Simone Niven would step down as Group Executive, Corporate Relations, and would leave the group on 31 December 2020 after completing an orderly transition of her responsibilities.

Earlier this month, Rio Tinto acknowledged the release of the Joint Standing Committee on Northern Australia's interim report following its inquiry into the destruction of rockshelters at Juukan Gorge in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. The company reiterated its apology to the Traditional Owners, the PKKP.

The destruction of the Juukan rock shelters was wrong. It should not have happened, the company stated.

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