Tom Albanese succeeded Leigh Clifford’s seven-year tenure as chief executive of Rio Tinto, in May 2007.
Albanese was born in 1957 and grew up in New Jersey. He attended the University of Alaska in Fairbanks where he received a bachelor’s degree in mineral economics and a master’s degree in mining engineering.
He held a number of positions with Nerco Minerals, and was chief operating officer at the time of its acquisition by Rio Tinto in 1993. Later that year he was appointed general manager of Rio Tinto’s Greens Creek gold, silver, zinc and lead mine on Admiralty Island, Alaska, where he led a team that was working to develop a newly discovered high grade orebody at the mine.
He moved to London in 1995 where he took up the post of Group exploration executive. Three years later he became vice-president of Kennecott Utah Copper at the Bingham Canyon copper mine outside Salt Lake City.
When Rio Tinto acquired a majority holding in North Ltd in Australia in 2000 Albanese transferred to Melbourne as its managing director. In this role he oversaw strategic reviews of North’s operations and the integration of its key businesses into Rio Tinto’s product group structure.
He was appointed chief executive of Rio Tinto’s Industrial Minerals group based in London, with responsibility for the Group’s borates, talc and titanium dioxide operations, before becoming chief executive, Copper and Exploration, in 2004.
Albanese joined the board of directors in March, 2006 and became director, Group Resources in July, with responsibility for Exploration, Operational and Technical Excellence, Human Resources, Communications and External Relations and Global Business Services.
Recently Tom has been involved in developing the joint venture exploration agreement with Norilsk Nickel in Russia, and in Rio Tinto’s investments in La Granja in Peru and Ivanhoe Mining’s Oyu Tolgoi copper project in Mongolia.