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Former Rio iron boss Harding named Aurizon CEO

Coal wagons Aurizon. Photo: Aurizon

Aurizon has named former Rio Tinto iron ore chief executive Andrew Harding as the man to replace outgoing managing director and chief executive Lance Hockridge.

After 24 years of service at Rio, Harding left the mining giant in June this year.

Prior to his role as the miner’s iron ore chief, he held various executive management, operating and functional roles both domestically and globally across the Rio Tinto business.

Aurizon chairman Tim Poole said CEO succession planning had been “a priority” for the board this year.

“Our inaugural Managing Director & CEO, Lance Hockridge, has led the company since our IPO in 2010 and has been a chief architect of our success to date,” Poole said.

“Lance’s leadership and vision have been crucial to what we have been able to achieve as a company. Our financial and operating performance metrics have significantly improved since IPO and he has been successful in bringing many in line with world class performance.”

Poole said the Aurizon Board was delighted to be able to secure Harding as Hockridge’s successor.

“Andrew’s ability and experience will be essential in driving the next phase of transformation to increase value for Aurizon shareholders,” he said.

“He has global operational experience, has managed complex logistics operations attached to mining operations and has a detailed understanding of the issues facing our customers.”

Harding will start work with Aurizon on December 1.

Hockridge will continue in his role with full responsibilities as managing director and chief executive until then.

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