A resources executive was dismissed for alleged poor conduct.
Rio Tinto recently terminated Ivan Vella’s employment from the mining giant.
An internal investigation caught the executive committee member and aluminium CEO disclosing company secrets without authorisation. Findings were announced in an internal email to all employees on 15 November 2023.
“The first stage of our external investigation has concluded that Ivan failed to maintain the standards expected of him relating to this topic under our global code of conduct,” group CEO Jakob Stausholm said in the email obtained by Reuters.
“The termination relates to actions that did not follow Rio Tinto’s guidance on acceptable management of confidential information.”
A spokesperson confirmed with the newswire agency the email was authentic. However, investigators had “not identified that any information has been compromised”.
The remarks came months after Vella resigned from the employer to start a new CEO and managing director job at competitor IGO. The role has a base salary of $1.4 million plus short- and long-term bonuses of up to 150 per cent and 200 per cent respectively.
IGO promised to examine Vella’s alleged confidentiality breach. However, his appointment would still take effect on December 11.
“IGO conducted multiple formal and informal references, background checks and due diligence, including through our search consultant. All of the information which came out of this process reinforced the quality of Ivan as a candidate, indicated a high level of integrity and was entirely consistent with his extensive and successful executive career,” chairman Michael Nossal said at the 2023 annual general meeting.
“The board is engaging with Ivan to more deeply understand the circumstances in question and will provide an update to the market in due course. However, it is our expectation that Ivan will start with IGO in early December as planned.”
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