Ian Wells, Elizabeth Gaines, Julie Shuttleworth and Greg Lilleyman will comprise the new Fortescue leadership team. Courtesy of Fortescue Metals Group
Australian iron-ore giant Fortescue Metals Group is now being run by two women. Elizabeth Gaines, previously the company’s chief financial officer, was named its new CEO on Nov. 30, and Julie Shuttleworth, the general manager of Fortescue’s Solomon operations, was appointed Deputy CEO.
Gaines, who was named CFO earlier this year, will succeed Nev Power when he steps down in February.
The moves come as part of a broader shake-up of Fortescue’s leadership team. Ian Wells, the group manager of corporate finance, will replace Gaines as CFO, and Greg Lilleyman, most recently the director of operations, will become the COO.
The four appointments a part of what Fortescue founder and chairman Andrew Forrest called a new “core leadership team.”
Gaines will lead what Forrest described as a “change in marketing focus” for the company, which is also setting a goal to increase its iron content to more than 60 per cent for the majority of its output.
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One of the company’s major projects is replacing its depleting Firetail mine in the Pilbara. Fortescue has said it will make a decision in 2018 between which of its two projects, Western Hub or Nyidinghu, will be developed as Firetail’s replacement.
Gaines said she was “both privileged and humbled” to be named CEO. “I look forward to working with [Forrest], the board and the newly appointed leadership team…to continue to deliver success and value for our shareholders.”
Forrest called Shuttleworth an “outstanding operator and leader” whose “leadership capability, cultural understanding of Fortescue and phenomenal intellect will be invaluable.”
Gaines joined Fortescue in 2013 as the company’s first female board member. At the time, the company was the only company in the Australian Stock Exchange top 50 without female representation on its board. Today, the board has five women, including Gaines, and four men, including Power and Forrest.