(Reuters) – Rio Tinto Ltd (RIO.AX) said on Monday it appointed Simon Thompson as its next chairman, succeeding Jan du Plessis, who will step down after serving almost nine years as chair.
Thompson, who is the chairman of the company’s remuneration committee, will become Rio Tinto’s chairman on March 5, 2018, the Anglo-Australian mining company said in a statement.
”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,” said senior independent director Ann Godbehere.
Thompson has been chairman of 3i Group Plc (III.L) since 2015 and was chairman of Tullow Oil Plc (TLW.L) from 2012 to 2017. Earlier in his career, he held investment banking positions at S.G. Warburg and N M Rothschild.
“I am handing over the baton at a time when the business is in great shape and Rio Tinto has the strongest balance sheet in the sector”,” added du Plessis, who announced his intention to retire as chairman earlier this year.
On assuming the role of the chair, Thompson will step down as chairman of the remuneration committee and will stop being a member of the audit committee, Rio added.
Reporting by Shashwat Pradhan in Bengaluru; Editing by Larry King and Peter Cooney