The first head has rolled and more jobs could soon go at Rio Tinto after the company announced this morning a restructuring of the company’s portfolio of assets.
The first casualty of Rio’s program of “streamlining operations” is Harry Kenyon-Slaney who has been ousted from his position of Energy Chief executive, after almost 25 years with the company.
The Australian Financial Review is this morning reporting that some weeks ago, Rio Tinto’s head of iron ore, Andrew Harding, sent an internal memo urging management to rapidly escalate cost-cutting measures with a “degree of urgency”. The paper also reports that Mr Hardy put a freeze on hiring new staff at the beginning of the month pending a “review of organisational structures.”
This morning’s statement describes how the company’s assets will be condensed into four product groups: Aluminium, Copper and Coal, Diamonds and Minerals, and Iron Ore.
The new Copper and Coal product group will be headed by current Copper chief executive Jean-Sébastien Jacques. Alan Davies will lead the Diamonds and Minerals product group which will absorb uranium as an additional product. The Aluminium and Iron Ore product groups have not, at this stage, been affected by the restructuring.
The statement says, “As a consequence of the restructuring, Energy chief executive Harry Kenyon-Slaney will leave the business.”
Chief Executive of Rio Tinto, Sam Walsh, said, “These changes are part of our continuing business transformation to reduce costs, simplify and strengthen our company and deliver sustainable value for shareholders.
“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.
“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.”