Rio Tinto reshuffles top deck to mend Indigenous ties

Jan 28 (Reuters) - Rio Tinto on Thursday named a new chief operating officer and a chief executive for its Australia business, as the global miner works to rebuild partnerships with Indigenous groups.

The flurry of appointments come as new Chief Executive Officer Jakob Stausholm has vowed to take a more inclusive approach and repair relationships with Aboriginal groups after the company’s destruction of sacred caves in Australia.

“I want to re-establish Rio Tinto as a trusted partner for host communities, governments and other stakeholders,” Stausholm said in a statement on Thursday.

As part of the changes, Rio named Arnaud Soirat, head of its copper & diamonds business, to the newly created role of chief operating officer and named long-time executive Kellie Parker as chief executive, Australia.

Parker “will focus on rebuilding trust and strengthening external relationships across Australia,” Rio said.

Chief Commercial Officer Simon Trott will head its iron ore business, the company said. Iron ore makes up more than half of Rio’s total annual revenue.

The company will retain the current four product groups - aluminium, copper, iron ore, and minerals - and appointed separate heads for each unit. (Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)