Elizabeth Gaines is the first ever female CEO of a major Australian mining company after Fortescue Metals Group reshuffled its top management team.
The company, owned by Andrew Forrest, also appointed a female into the Deputy CEO position in the form of Julie Shuttleworth. Greg Lilleyman was named Chief Operations Officer while Corporate Finance Manager Ian Wells will become Chief Financial Officer in place of Gaines.
Commenting on her appointment, Gaines said: “Fortescue is a unique company and a feature of our success is the strong relationship between the Chairman and CEO.
“I embrace the culture and values that truly set this company apart and I look forward to working with Andrew, the Board and the newly appointed leadership team of talented individuals to continue to deliver success and value for our shareholders.”
In a statement to the ASX, Fortescue explained Gaines’s promotion: “Elizabeth has shown strong aptitude to encourage her colleagues and sleet recognition to them while actively supporting all those around her to be as successful as possible.
“It is this aversion to being the smartest person in the room, her obvious and effective collegiality and ability to communicate at all levels of both the organisation and the community that led to the Board’s decision to select Elizabeth over an outstanding international field of CEO applicants.”
Gaines has held Chief Financial Officer roles in Australia and the UK in a number of sectors, including construction and infrastructure, agribusiness and travel and hospitality.