DUMPED Rio Tinto boss Tom Albanese – who once declared Australia a high-risk country for business – took home more than $30 million during his five-year tenure as chief executive.
Mr Albanese, who was axed from the top job on Thursday, will depart the Anglo-Australian mining giant after nearly six years in the role.
In 2010, Mr Albanese hit the spotlight when he said the federal government’s proposed resource rent tax posed a bigger sovereign risk for the company than any of its projects in developing countries. ”From my own perspective, this is my No. 1 sovereign risk issue on a global basis,” he said during the dispute between the government and mining companies over the proposed 40 per cent profits tax.
Ultimately, it was a coal project in a developing country – Mozambique – that cost Mr Albanese his job.
The 55-year-old American will leave Rio without a bonus for the third straight year. He will not receive any lump-sum payment or short-term performance bonuses for 2012 or 2013, the company said. But he has a lifetime pension at the equivalent of $722,000 a year and holds 252,285 shares in Rio valued at $16.7 million.
Mr Albanese was paid a base salary of about $10.6 million in total over the five years, with unexercised share options from 2003 to 2009 worth $16.2 million.
In addition, his 2009 performance share plan, which could vest next month, has a current indicative value of $2.4 million.
A 2010 share plan award comprising 119,230 options would see Mr Albanese pocket another $6.7 million.
Investors have reacted positively to chairman Jan du Plessis’ dumping of Mr Albanese. In London over Thursday night, the company’s shares listed there initially fell by as much as 5 per cent but recovered to close just 0.5 per cent down.
On the ASX on Friday, Rio shares closed 2.7 per cent higher at $66.35.
UBS resources analyst Glyn Lawcock welcomed the elevation of 63-year-old Australian Sam Walsh to the position of chief executive, calling him a ”safe pair of hands” who was the ”logical successor” to Mr Albanese.
He said the scale of the $3 billion impairment of the former Riversdale coal assets in Mozambique ”raises questions about the due diligence process and was the primary driver of the need for management accountability”.
The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.