PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Iron-ore major Fortescue Metals has appointed oil and gas major Woodside’s executive VP for Australian operations, Fiona Hick, as its new CEO effective from February next year.
Woodside on Tuesday announced the resignation of Hick, with CEO Meg O’Neill praising her "significant contributions" to the energy major during her 22-year career.
“[Hicks] has demonstrated exceptional vision and leadership in the many roles she has fulfilled at Woodside.
“Since 2019, Hick has been a valued member of the executive team, leading Woodside’s operations group. As the executive vice president overseeing Australian operations, Fiona has been instrumental in delivering safe, reliable, low-cost and lower-carbon performance.
“Hick’s tenure was outstanding across a very challenging period in which the operations group was responding to the emerging and ongoing impacts of the pandemic and global market disruptions. Thanks to her strong and decisive leadership Woodside’s Australian operations are positioned for continuing success,” said O’Neill.
Hicks’s appointment follows the resignation of Elizabeth Gaines, who stepped aside in August this year, prompting chairperson and founder Dr Andrew Forrest to retake the leadership role.
Hick, along with Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) CEO Mark Hutchinson, will report to the Fortescue board and will lead Fortescue in its transition to a global green metals and energy company. Hick will deliver Fortescue's global metals strategy to be the most successful iron-ore operator in the world, to lead exploration and development into critical minerals and rare earths, and to decarbonise Fortescue in partnership with FFI, creating significant additional value for shareholders.
“I have enjoyed and grown immensely during my 20 years in energy. I am as committed to the new future of the world as Forrest is. We must provide the metals and the energy which will help to accelerate the energy transition. I join with, and commit to, Forrest and Fortescue’s vision of becoming the leading green metals and energy company globally,” said Hick on Tuesday.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I come into this role with an enormous and exciting project pipeline to continue to grow and execute for Fortescue. I am excited to deliver our vision with the entire Fortescue family, working closely with an amazingly supportive chairperson and board.”
Forrest said this coming year would mark 20 years of Fortescue.
“As one of the most respected iron-ore companies in the world we are now transitioning to a global green metals and energy, manufacturing and technology business. We are looking forward to Hick joining us, a deeply respected and experienced executive, to help lead us to step beyond fossil fuels, making our company ever stronger and always creating additional value for shareholders.
“Fortescue has only had three CEOs since it was founded in 2003. We welcome Hicks in our twentieth year to lead our green metals company.
“Hick’s highly strategic operational mind and her easy natural leadership of people is typical of a character that is always vulnerable to new ideas. This is critical in the constant search for simplicity and streamlining that is Fortescue. Hicks has the natural humility and adaptiveness to flourish in Fortescue’s rare leadership environment through values, as opposed to command and control. Fiona has the right personality to lead our metals organisation.