Tuesday 24th Oct, 2017

Lynch’s Rio departure a personal choice

Rio Tinto train - Photo Rio Tinto
Photo: Rio Tinto

Chris Lynch has reportedly told The Australian the decision to step down as Rio Tinto’s finance director was a personal choice, and that he is pleased to leave the company in a good financial position.

Lynch’s retirement was announced by the Anglo-Australian mining giant on September 15. He is due to depart by the end of September 2018.

He joined the Rio Tinto board in September 2011, and has spent the last four years as its chief financial officer.

“Chris has made an outstanding contribution to the performance of Rio Tinto since he was appointed CFO in 2013 and I would like to personally thank him for his wise counsel and support since my appointment as chief executive,” Rio boss J-S Jacques said.

Lynch reportedly told The Australian this week the choice to leave was his.

“It’s purely a personal decision,” Lynch was quoted as saying. “The company is in great shape, I’m very happy with where the balance sheet is, the cost structure is good, and J-S has a pretty energised team heading it up.”

During his time as CFO, Lynch has led a major cost cutting program, and balance sheet repair. His work has shown itself in $5.3 billion of dividends already announced this year, and another $5.1 billion in share buybacks.

Planning for the next chief financial officer has been in progress for some time, Rio Tinto said, and a replacement will be announced “in due course”.