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Less than six months after joining as head honcho of Andrew Forrest’s Fortescue Metals, the company has announced the shock departure of Fiona Hick.

Ms Hick was hired after a year-long search for a new CEO following the departure of former boss Elizabeth Gaines, who held the position for three years. Gaines left in December 2021.

The mining giant announced on Monday, ahead of the release of its annual accounts, that its existing chief operating officer iron ore Dino Otranto would be promoted to CEO.

The outgoing CEO made a “joint decision” to leave with Fortescue’s board, according to a statement issued by the company.

“Fiona Hick has made a joint decision with the Fortescue Board to leave the company and leaves it in very good hands,” the company said.

“The departure of Fiona has been both friendly and mutual and we warmly wish her the best for her future.”

Dr Andrew Forrest AO, executive chairman and founder, expressed gratitude towards Ms Hick.

“We thank Fiona for her valuable efforts since joining Fortescue just under six months ago and wish her all the best with her future pursuits,” he said.

“We welcome Dino to the role of chief executive officer where he will continue to lead and grow the Metals business, deliver our major project in Gabon and execute our decarbonisation plan.”

Ms Hick, who joined in February, said she appreciated her time with the company.

“It’s been wonderful to work with the dedicated people at Fortescue. I am thankful for the opportunity and wish Fortescue well in its mission to decarbonise.”

She was the latest in a long list of departures of senior executives, including Felicity Gooding, who became the tenth senior executive to leave Fortescue in two years when she left in July.

Long-term finance boss Ian Wells left in January, eight weeks after the departure of chief financial officer of Fortescue ­Future Industries, Guy Debelle.

Fortescue on Monday also announced Dr Larry Marshall as a non-executive director of Fortescue to “guide the company’s overall technology pathway, particularly in energy, metals, investments and strategy”.

Incoming CEO Mr Otranto would be leading Fortescue Metals, while Mark Hutchinson would lead Fortescue Energy. Both Leaders would be reporting to the executive chairman and the Fortescue Board.

“I am really looking forward to continuing to work with our amazing Fortescue team to

strengthen our powerhouse iron ore business further while racing to reach Real Zero by 2030

across our operations,” Mr Otranto said.

“Climate change is accelerating and we need to act faster than we ever

thought to give our children a better future.”

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By Rahul

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