Rio Tinto’s Sam Walsh scores $9m after pay increase in first year

Rio Tinto (ASX, LON, NYSE:RIO), the world’s second-largest mining company, has given chief Sam Walsh a 44% pay rise as he was able to take the company from a US$3 billion loss to a US$3.7 billion profit in his first year at the helm.

Walsh, 64, was paid US$9.1 million, up from the $6.3 million earned in 2012, the company unveiled Friday in its annual report. The figure includes salary, a cash bonus, shares and other benefits, Rio said. His predecessor Tom Albanese was paid 4 million pounds ($6.7 million) in 2012.

Walsh was given a three-year term for the top job but recently indicated he would be happy to stay longer, depending on board approval.

The executive previously led Rio’s iron ore division, based in Perth, Western Australia. The firm paid relocation costs of about $186,000 when he moved to London as CEO, and he receives a housing allowance and other benefits during his “secondment” there, it said.

In return, Walsh has exceeded expectations. He promised to cut operating costs by $2bn last year and achieved $2.3bn. He said he would cut exploration and development costs by $750 million and cut them by $1bn. He vowed to pull capital expenditure down from more than $17.5bn to $13bn, and hit that target.

For this year Walsh has set the goal of cut annual costs by $3bn and reduce capital expenditure down to $11bn.

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