Rio Tinto hires Australian former politician as new board director

Suzie Neuwirth
MINING giant Rio Tinto yesterday said it has hired Australian former politician Michael L’Estrange to join its board.

The academic and policy adviser has held senior government roles including cabinet secretary, before moving to London to serve as Australia’s high commissioner to the UK in 2000. He returned to Australia as secretary of the department of foreign affairs and trade from 2005 to 2009.

“Michael has nearly 30 years of distinguished public service experience in Australia, and brings to our board a wealth of expertise in foreign policy, international relations and trade,” said chairman Jan du Plessis. “His appointment further reinforces the significance of Australia to Rio Tinto's global operations.”

L’Estrange will become the fourth Australian on the board of the company, which is listed both in London and Australia, joining chief executive Sam Walsh, finance chief Chris Lynch and non-executive director Michael Fitzpatrick. He will also join the nominations committee.