Herald Sun - - BUSINESS DAILY -

A FOR­MER Xs­trata chief ex­ec­u­tive has emerged as a sur­prise con­tender to re­place Jan du Plessis as Rio Tinto chair­man.

Sir Michael “Mick” Davis is be­lieved to be the lead ex­ter­nal can­di­date for the new head of Rio, with a de­ci­sion ex­pected shortly.

The fron­trun­ning in­ter­nal can­di­dates are for­mer Shell chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer Si­mon Henry and Sam Laid­law, a for­mer chief of Bri­tish en­ergy group Cen­trica.

Af­ter Glen­core bought Xs­trata ear­lier this decade, South African-born Sir Michael was sup­posed to run the com­bined group.

But the role ended up with Ivan Glasen­berg.

Rio’s Aus­tralian-listed shares fell 1 per cent, or 71c, yes­ter­day to close at $73.04.

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