As soon as the new year kicks off, Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG) will be led by two women.
Elizabeth Gaines, who took over as the company’s CFO in February after being a non-executive director since 2013, has been appointed new Chief Executive Officer. Her right hand will be Julie Shuttleworth, who moves from being general manager of Fortescue’s Solomon operations to the position of deputy CEO.
According to Fortescue’s chairman, billionaire Andrew Forrest, both Gaines and Shuttleworth will lead an organisation “where every person seeks advice from their immediate principal as opposed to an industry accepted management method of unilateral authority.”
Gaines, on the other hand, said that it is the strong relationship between the chairman and the CEO what determines Fortescue’s success. “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,” she said in a corporate press release.
In the same statement, Forrest said that one of the reasons behind Gaines’ appointment is that the CEO-elect has shown strong aptitude to encourage her colleagues and sleet recognition to them while actively providing support so that people reach their full potential. “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,” he said.
Gaines, who will succeed outgoing CEO Nev Power, is the former CEO of HelloWorld. Prior to that, she was chief operating officer and CFO of HelloWorld, CFO of Stella Group, chief finance and operations director of Entertainment Rights in the United Kingdom and CEO of Heytesbury.
Besides Gaines and Shuttleworth, Fortescue has made several changes to its leadership team, with Ian Wells taking over as CFO and former operations director Greg Lilleyman being appointed as chief operating officer.
A kinder, gentler CEO who doesn’t know the difference between an iron mine and a sandbox. Brilliant!
Julie Shuttleworth was formerly a senior process engineering specialist for Barrick Gold. She supervised the metallurgists at all of Barrick’s gold process plants in Africa for quite a few years. She is more knowledgeable and capable technically than most senior executives in the mining industry. In addition she has been General Manager at the Cloudbreak Mine of Fortescue for several years, so she has her general management chops, too.
I know nothing about Elizabeth Gaines except she’s an accountant. It is common to put a CFO in the top job when the priority is to cut costs since they know the books better than anyone. She is also smart enough to know that she needs Julie Shuttleworth there to look after the technical and operational side of things. Looks to me like a smart move all the way ’round.
I wonder if either of them knows as much about drilling and blasting ass did Tessie Kumm?
@oredigr:disqus Julie Shuttleworth knows more about mining than most – FMG has rode the storm of recent years and come out well – Easy to criticize, harder to be at the forefront
Women in Australian mining, I wonder women in Chinese mining?