Rio Tinto revolution prompts sixth executive exit – by Peter Ker (Australian Financial Review – December 9, 2016)

Rio Tinto has lost the sixth member of its powerful executive committee in the space of nine months, as the revolution under new chief executive Jean-Sebastien Jacques continues. The latest departure is Hugo Bague, Rio’s “organisational resources” executive whose remit has included the company’s email and information technology systems.

Questions were asked of Mr Bague in recent months after emails showing three former Rio executives discussing a $US10.5 million payment to a controversial adviser in Guinea were leaked on a french website.

Former executive committee member Alan Davies was among those discussing the payment in the emails, and he was sacked for allegedly breaching the company’s code of conduct on November 16.

Legal affairs executive Debra Valentine was also sacked on November 16 for allegedly breaching the same code of conduct over the Guinea payments scandal. Mr Davies has vowed to fight the decision and has hinted at legal action against his former employer.

While Mr Bague, Mr Davies and Ms Valentine’s departures are all linked to the Guinea scandal, they continue a broader cull of the company’s senior ranks since Mr Jacques replaced Sam Walsh in March.

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