Gaines spearheads refocused FMG
“It is this aversion to being the smartest person in the room, her obvious and effective collegiality and ability to communicate at all levels of both the organisation and the community that led to the Board’s decision to select Elizabeth over an outstand
FORTESCUE Metals Group (FMG) has named Elizabeth Gaines as its incoming chief executive to replace long-time boss Nev Power in mid-February.
Ms Gaines’ appointment will coincide with plans by FMG to lift the grade of the bulk of its production to more than 60 per cent iron to compete head-to-head in the higher grade markets.
The former Helloworld chief executive joined the FMG board in 2013 and was appointed chief financial officer on 6 February 2017.
Ms Gaines will be the third chief executive in FMG’s 15-year history and the first female chief executive of a major Australian mining company.
Ms Gaines said she was both privileged and humbled to be chosen and was excited to take FMG through its next stages.
“Fortescue is a unique company and a feature of our success is the strong relationship between the chairman and chief executive,” Ms Gaines said.
“I embrace the culture and values that truly set this company apart and I look forward to working with Andrew, the Board and the newly appointed leadership team of talented individuals to continue to deliver success and value for our shareholders.”
FMG director operations Greg Lilleyman, the presumed front runner for the top job, has been promoted to chief operating officer, while Ian Wells will be appointed to the role of chief financial officer, moving from his current role as group manager, corporate finance.
Julie Shuttleworth will also take up the new role of deputy chief executive, having most recently held the position of Fortescue’s Solomon operations general manager.
FMG chairman Andrew Forrest said the new Core Leadership Team ( CLT) would continue and improve on Mr Power’s legacy, and champion Fortescue’s unique culture.
“Elizabeth has shown strong aptitude to encourage her colleagues and sleet recognition to them while actively supporting all those around her to be as successful as possible,” Mr Forrest said.
“It is this aversion to being the smartest person in the room, her obvious and effective collegiality and ability to communicate at all levels of both the organisation and the community that led to the Board’s decision to select Elizabeth over an outstanding international field of CEO applicants.”
Mr Forrest also announced a change in marketing focus to lift its production grade above 60 per cent iron to allow “greater penetration in global iron markets”.
A recent Deutsche Bank research note reported discounting was continuing in China and affecting low grade iron ore.
It said iron ore stocks held by BHP and Rio Tinto were the equivalent of about 10 days of production, where lower grade producer FMG’s stocks had grown to about 39 days.
Mr Forrest said it would achieve its target of higher ore grades through the Firetail replacement project, without “losing the company’s focus on minimum mine lives of 20 years”.
Fortescue Metals Group’s new core leadership team.