Rio Tinto has appointed Alfredo Barrios as chief executive of its aluminium business. He will succeed Jacynthe Cote who will leave the business for personal reasons to pursue other interests.

Barrios will assume the role on 1st June and join the executive committee on this date. He will be based in Montreal, subject to obtaining all necessary immigration approvals from the Canadian authorities. Cote will continue in an advisory role until 1st September this year.

Barrios’ most recent role was executive director and executive vice president downstream at the joint venture TNK-BP, one of Russia’s biggest vertically integrated oil and gas companies, where he was responsible for the refining, trading, supply, logistics and marketing businesses. He joined BP in 1992 and has enjoyed a varied and distinguished career including senior leadership roles in the United Kingdom, United States, Russia and continental Europe. He has a strong track record of successfully delivering sustained safety and business performance, large capital intensive projects and international government relations.

Rio Tinto chief executive Sam Walsh said: “Jacynthe has long been a key member of Rio Tinto’s leadership team and has enjoyed a successful career with Rio Tinto and Alcan spanning more than 25 years. The ongoing improvement in the performance of the aluminium business is testimony to her commitment to the business throughout her career. I would like to offer her my personal thanks and best wishes for the future.

“We are delighted to welcome Alfredo to Rio Tinto who will undoubtedly bring renewed vigour and experience to our Aluminium business. I am confident he will build on the foundations Jacynthe and her team have put in place and drive further improvement in delivering increased value from the business. I also look forward to the new insight he can bring as a member of my executive team”.

All other group executive roles remain unchanged.

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