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Seemingly he was only Chairman elect.


Mr Jim Leng

9 February 2009

Rio Tinto announces that Jim Leng, a non-executive Director, has resigned from the Boards with immediate effect and will therefore not take up the post of Chairman of the Boards in April as previously planned.

At the request of the Boards, Rio TintoÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¾Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢s current Chairman, Paul Skinner, has agreed to remain as Chairman until mid 2009, by which time it is anticipated that a successor will be appointed. The process to appoint a new Chairman is underway.

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Here's some discussion of possible rationale for Leng's departure:


Why Jim Leng Walked


There is speculation in the markets today that the shock resignation of Rio Tinto's chairman-designate, Jim Leng, follows a dispute around the board table last week about how Rio should raise cash quickly to reduce its $US40 billion ($60 billion) debt load.


The market speculation is that Leng disagreed with the asset sale plan, in particular with the politically and strategically sensitive proposal to sell stakes in projects and Rio shares to Chinalco, and pushed instead for a large share issue.
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this is a deadset disgrace.


Skinner's head should be paraded around on a spike for failing to open sensible dialogue with BHP. certainly the Warwick Fairfax small business award should be as good as sorted for 08/09.


the need to protect one's job or turf or whatever was in the board's mind has proven to be disastrous for shareholders.


now they are selling the farm to cover up the hole they created.


this is not in shareholders interest or national interests.


not only does this dilute current holders but permanently removes a takeover premium from the shareprice. nice work.


Jim Leng didn't have to think hard to figure this out.....so he is pushed?!?!? (go figure that decision).


the board is batting 0/2 on the big calls in my humble opinion.

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Completely agree wolverine


Skinner & Albanese should be gone.

The borrowed to the eyeballs for Alcan at the top, they wouldn't even talk to BHP with a very generous offer (and this was a merger, not asset sales) but selling the best assets at the bottom is a great deal for shareholders


Both have massive egos and can't admit they were wrong.

Insane that they both still have their jobs.....

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I actually think RIO management has done a decent job of running the company to date.


Sure, they made an acquistion that cost shareholders dearly, but that was more a misfortunate event than a mistake of judgment. I say misfortunate because that's what the global financial crisis was, a bolt from the blue, a stroke of bad luck. 'Reasonable' judgment in 2007 would not have factored in conditions we're seeing today, and any investment decisions in 2007 that predicted the meltdown of 2008 and 2009 would've been seen then as lunacy.


And it was the GFC and nothing else that most likely turned the Alcan acquisition from an attractive prosposal to an absolute disaster.


It's the same story with the BHP takeover. RIO's management was right to turn away BHP if they thought the offer grossly undervalued its shares. We will never know if the shares were grossly undervalued, because this misfortunate event has permanently changed the valuation of the company. We do know however that at least Alcoa and Chinalco agreed with RIO at the time that its shares were undervalued, buying up big at $130 or so a share.


Can't fault people for bad luck.



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hi herger


they overpaid for Alcan and they used too much debt in the mix. hindsight is a great thing but it was an eyewatering price at the time. the price of Fe ore nearly got them thru despite the error of overpaying.


RIO was was not right in turning away BHP. if they really thought the price undervalued their shares then there is no explanation on why they are now selling equity to Chinalco for a fraction of what BHP was offering.....unless they are covering up their faulty judgement.


ego and hubris.

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Sorry Herger,


Just can't agree on the "unfortunate" bit. These guys are paid massive salaries and bonuses and equity deals for their so-called expertise , which I would assume would include some out-of-the ordinary knowledge of the future direction of markets.

If they couldn't see that banks were heading for disaster ( there were plenty of savvy commentators who did), and be able to see that materials were heading for trouble as well, then they were incompetent in that leadership position.


They are mostly massive egos and very forceful personalities. Sometimes they are even wise, but rarely.


RIO screwed up badly, as has BHP on several occasions, as well as many other high fliers. It happens, which is why they shouldn't receive such obscenely large packages. They're human, and make mistakes.




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Chinalco deal - what a poke in the eye for BHP


not that good for australia either


as they have given up 15% of WA iron assets, 30% of Weipa, 50% of Yarwun alumina refinery, 49% of Boyne & GPS


we still get the royalties and jobs stay


but chinese influence of the what and when of production increases

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