Jean-Sébastien Jacques was appointed Rio Tinto chief executive in July 2016. He is also a director on the Rio Tinto board.
Mr Jacques was born in France in 1971. He joined Rio Tinto in October 2011 as the president, International Operations for the Copper group, where he led a senior team and managed interests in the Palabora Mining Company in South Africa, Northparkes Mines in Australia, Kennecott Eagle Minerals in Michigan, Pebble Mine in Alaska and Sulawesi in Indonesia.
Mr Jacques was appointed to Rio Tinto’s Executive Committee in February 2013 when he was made chief executive of the Copper group. In February 2015 he also assumed responsibility for the company’s coal assets in his expanded role as chief executive of Copper & Coal, leading a business with nine international operations and two growth projects. Mr Jacques led the transformation of the Copper & Coal group, delivering a step- change in both safety and cash performance whilst re-shaping the portfolio to focus on a core of the highest quality assets. He also had responsibility for two growth projects, Oyu Tolgoi in Mongolia and Resolution in the USA, both of which saw significant progress during his tenure in that role.
Some of the key achievements under Mr Jacques’ leadership of the Copper & Coal group were the delivery of the first shipment from the Oyu Tolgoi mine in Mongolia, divestment of the Palabora, Northparkes, Eagle and Bengalla mines and the withdrawal from the Pebble project in the USA.
The signing of the Oyu Tolgoi Underground Mine Development and Financing Plan in May 2015 which paved the way for the further development of the Oyu Tolgoi mine is testament to Mr Jacques’ commitment to establishing and maintaining strong external relationships. His leadership in negotiations with the Government of Mongolia demonstrated a commitment to finding solutions that deliver long-term benefits for all parties. In addition to providing country leadership for Rio Tinto in Mongolia, Mr Jacques had responsibility for leading the company’s engagement in Indonesia, Chile, PNG and Peru.
He is also highly respected for his thought leadership across a wide range of geopolitical and economic issues within the mining industry and more broadly. Mr Jacques has been chairman of the International Copper Association since late 2014.
Prior to joining Rio Tinto, Mr Jacques spent more than 15 years working in various roles across Europe, South East Asia, India and the US. He covered a wide range of operational and functional positions for the aluminium, bauxite and steel industries and more significantly, served as group director, Strategy for Tata Steel Group from 2007 to 2011.
Mr Jacques lives in London with his family and holds a Master of Science from École Centrale Paris.