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Rio Tinto hires ex-BHP chief financial officer Lynch

Keywords: Tags  Rio Tinto, management change, chief financial officer, Guy Elliott, Chris Lynch, Metal Bulletin, Shivani Singh

SINGAPORE — Rio Tinto Plc has named former BHP Billiton Plc chief financial officer Chris Lynch as its new chief financial officer, the company said Feb. 28.

Lynch will succeed Guy Elliott, a 32-year veteran of the company who announced his retirement in July (, July 12).

Lynch, who has been serving on Rio’s board as a non-executive director since September 2011, will take over the new role effective April 18. He will relocate to London from Melbourne for the position.

Lynch has previously held leadership positions at a number of metals companies, including BHP Billiton and Alcoa Inc. He was also the chief executive officer of Transurban Group, an Australian toll road owner and operator with interests in Australia and the United States from 2008 to 2012.

"Chris Lynch is an extremely high-caliber addition to our executive team with a strong pedigree of board, mining and financial experience, including at BHP Billiton where he was chief financial officer and ran the Carbon Steel Materials division, and 20 years at Alcoa," chief executive officer Sam Walsh said.

Recent months have seen several leadership changes at big mining companies. Rio’s Walsh was appointed in January after Tom Albanese stepped down following write-downs (, Jan. 17).

The new chief financial officer will draw a base salary of £800,000 ($1.21 million) with a target annual bonus opportunity at 120 percent of his base salary, the miner said. He will be on a standard Rio Tinto contract, which includes a 12-month notice period. His remuneration package will also include an expected value of long-term share incentive plan opportunity at 210 percent of base salary in 2013.

Rio Tinto announced its first-ever full-year loss of $3 billion in 2012 after it took impairment charges of $14.4 billion related to its aluminum businesses and coal assets in Mozambique (, Feb. 14).

It is taking steps to cut $5 billion in costs by the end of 2014, it said.

A version of this article was first published by AMM sister publication Metal Bulletin.

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