MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Rio Tinto RIO.AX parted ways with its CEO and two senior executives on Friday, bowing to mounting shareholder criticism of the destruction of two significant Aboriginal rockshelters and the global miner’s limited initial response.
Chief executive Jean-Sébastien Jacques, who has led Rio since 2016, will step down by March 31 next year, the company said, after shareholders expressed concerns about executive accountability.
The head of iron ore, Chris Salisbury, and Simone Niven, head of corporate relations, the unit responsible for dealing with indigenous communities, will also depart.
The move came after activists and investors said Rio had not done enough in an earlier board-led review into how the miner legally detonated rockshelters showing 46,000 years of human habitation at Juukan Gorge in Western Australia against the wishes of traditional owners. The review had cut short-term bonuses for some executives.
“Despite a drawn out process, we feel the