Simon Thompson will succeed Jan du Plessis as the next chairman of Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto, the company announced on December 4.
Thompson, who has been part of Rio’s board as a non-executive director since 2014, will become the company’s chairman on March 5, 2018.
A 20-year veteran of the mining industry, Thompson’s past roles include a number of senior positions at Anglo American, and board roles at AngloGold Ashanti, Rusal and Newmont Mining Corporation.
Du Plessis said he was pleased to “hand over the baton” to Thompson.
“I am really pleased to be succeeded by Simon, especially given how closely we have worked together since he joined the board some three years ago,” du Plessis said. “I wish him the very best.”
Thompson will step down as chairman of Rio’s remuneration committee, and will also cease his role on the company’s audit committee, upon taking up the role of chairman of the board.
He labelled the appointment “an honour”.
“Rio Tinto is in great shape, with a strong management team, world-class assets and a successful strategy, Thompson said.
“I look forward to leading the board as we work with [chief executive] J-S [Jacques] and his team to ensure that Rio Tinto continues to deliver superior returns for its shareholders by maintaining its capital discipline and ‘value-over-volume’ approach.”