Rio Tinto CEO J-S Jacques leaves

  • Push-out Score determined
  • After about four years in the position
  • Praise and thanks for Jacques
  • Search for a successor

(exechange) — Melbourne, Australia, September 10, 2020 — J-S Jacques, chief executive of Rio Tinto, leaves — “by mutual agreement.” As announced by Rio Tinto Group in a news release on Thursday, September 10, 2020, Jean-Sébastien (J-S) Jacques leaves his post as chief executive officer at the world’s second largest metals and mining corporation after about four years in the role.

“J-S will remain in his role until the appointment of his successor or 31 March 2021, whichever is earlier. This will ensure business continuity to maintain the strong performance of the Group’s global operations during COVID-19,” Rio Tinto stated.

Rio Tinto will undertake a search for a successor.

J-S Jacques’s move forms part of a management shake-up also involving the positions of Chief Executive, Iron Ore; and Group Executive, Corporate Relations.


The management change is explained as follows. Rio Tinto said: “Following the publication on 24 August 2020 of the Board Review of Cultural Heritage Management (the Board Review), undertaken in response to the destruction of the Juukan rockshelters in May 2020, the Board of Rio Tinto has engaged extensively with shareholders, Traditional Owners, Indigenous leaders and other stakeholders. While there is general recognition of the transparency of the Board Review and support for the changes recommended, significant stakeholders have expressed concerns about executive accountability for the failings identified.”

Precise information regarding J-S Jacques’s future plans was not immediately available.

“Step down”

Rio Tinto said: “By mutual agreement, J-S Jacques will step down from his role as an executive director and Chief Executive of the Group.”

Share price increase since July 2016

The announcement follows an increase in Rio Tinto Group’s share price of 96% since July 2016.

Chaired by Simon Thompson

Simon Thompson serves as Rio Tinto Group’s Chairman.

In the position of CEO since 2016

J-S Jacques became chief executive of Rio Tinto in 2016.

Since then, he has led the implementation of the Company’s value-over-volume strategy.

From 2016 through the first half of 2019, Rio Tinto declared a record $30 billion in cash to the Company’s shareholders while reducing net debt by $14 billion.

J-S Jacques has been a member of International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) since July 2016, joined the European Roundtable of Industrialists (ERT) in May 2018, the Global CEO Council in Beijing in June 2019, the Business Council of Australia in November 2019 and the US Business Council in January 2020.

Push-out Score determined

The Push-out Score™ determined by exechange gauges the pressure surrounding the management change on a scale of 0 to 10.

Read the full story in the exechange report 37.2020 ($).