Rio streamlines divisions

RIO Tinto has announced an immediate restructuring of its product groups, scrapping the Energy division.
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Rio Tinto’s energy chief executive, Harry Kenyon-Slaney

Kristie Batten

As part of the focus on efficiency and costs, the company’s assets will be condensed into four groups – Aluminium, Copper and Coal, Diamonds and Minerals, and Iron Ore.

Energy chief executive and long-time Rio employee Harry Kenyon-Slaney will leave the company.

The new Copper and Coal product group will be led by current Copper chief executive Jean-Sebastien Jacques.

Uranium will be added to the Diamonds and Minerals product group, under the leadership of product group chief executive Alan Davies.

The Aluminium and Iron Ore product groups remain unchanged.

Rio said a number of key corporate functions would also be reshaped to further reduce costs and improve effectiveness as part of an ongoing optimisation program.

Rio Tinto chief executive Sam Walsh said the changes were part of a continuing business transformation to reduce costs, simplify and strengthen the 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,” he said.

“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.”

Rio shares closed at $A63.70 yesterday.