Rio Tinto launches major restructuring plan to drive greater value

Argyle3 rdax
Argyle3 rdax

Rio Tinto announced on Friday that it is streamlining its product groups and corporate functions as part of the continued focus on efficiency and costs.

Image credit: Photographer: Christian Sprogoe PhotographyDate: 27 July 2009
Image credit: Photographer: Christian Sprogoe PhotographyDate: 27 July 2009

The company said that it will condense its world-class portfolio of assets into four product groups: Aluminium, Copper and Coal, Diamonds and Minerals, and Iron Ore.

The new arrangements will see the Copper and Coal product group bring the company’s coal operations alongside the existing copper portfolio, with Copper Chief Executive Jean- Sébastien Jacques at the helm of the combined product group.

According to the media release by Rio Tinto, Uranium will be added to the Diamonds and Minerals product group, under the leadership of product group Chief Executive Alan Davies, whereas the Aluminium and Iron Ore product groups will remain unchanged.


The new arrangements, which will come into effect immediately, also envisage reshaping of a number of key corporate functions to further reduce costs and improve effectiveness as part of an ongoing optimisation programme.

“These changes are part of our continuing business transformation to reduce costs, simplify and strengthen our company and deliver sustainable value for shareholders,” said Rio Tinto Chief Executive Sam Walsh.

“Our coal and uranium assets remain a part of our world-class portfolio. We will work hard to ensure there is a smooth transition for our colleagues in the Energy product group and continue to maximise efficiencies in our coal and uranium operations.”

The restructuring of Rio Tinto’s corporate functions will also see Energy Chief Executive Harry Kenyon-Slaney leave the company.

“I would like to thank Harry for the important contribution he has made during almost 25 years with the Group, including as a colleague on the Executive Committee for the past five years. Harry has my best wishes for the future and my full appreciation for the significant role he has played in his time at Rio Tinto,” Mr Walsh said.